Saturday, May 22, 2010
One and the Same by Abigail Pogrebin
I came across this book in the bookstore and was immediately intrigued. I have always been interested in genetics and (for obvious reasons) have become quite interested in multiples. This book is written by an identical twin, Abigail Pogrebin. She very openly discusses her relationship with her sister and interviews dozens of identical twins. She also speaks with experts in reproduction, genetics and psychology. She leaves no stone unturned and exposes a relationship most of us will never experience for ourselves. She shows the complete twin relationship the good and the bad.
It was this total honesty that left me nervous to read the book. I already worry if my children will suffer for being quadruplets, I didn't want to read a book that may confirm my fears. I was pleased to see that this was not the case at all. Ms. Pogrebin speaks to many twins and while some of them have difficult relationships with their twins, they all seem to treasure their special connection. To have been with another person from the moment of conception, and even share dna in the case of identicals, is a unique and unbreakable bond.
While none of my children are identical, the main theme of the book still applies to them. How can you be an individual and a part of a set at the same time? To a lesser extent, I can understand this dilemma. I grew up in a family of eight children in a small town. Everyone knew at least one Kluthe. It seemed that everywhere I went, I was "a Kluthe." I love my family very much and have always been proud to be a Kluthe. Sometimes, however, it was difficult knowing that I was being judged before people knew me based on their opinions of my siblings. I can only imagine that this will be magnified for the quads. They will likely be referred to as "the Lachmann Quads" as often as they are called by their own names. They will have the comfort of their sibling bond, but the frustration of not being viewed as an individual. While there are no real answers, I think that the only thing I can do to help with this is to encourage each kid to follow their own path. The main message that I took from the book is that the bond is there and will always be there. I do not need to encourage the bond, I need to respect each child as an individual and allow them to find their own interests.
This book is a fascinating glimpse into the world of mutiples. It offers us singletons a better understanding of the special, yet complicated relationship shared between multiples. As a singleton mother of quadruplets, I appreciated this view. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who has or is expecting multiples.