I got all teary-eyed after dropping off my twins at college yesterday.
Okay, sobbed, uncontrollably.
They had to get there two weeks early to start Resident Assistant (R.A.) training before actual classes begin, so it felt especially hard as summer was still underway.
Logically, it doesn’t make sense that I sobbed. My Twins are starting their sophomore year at George Fox University this year, so we’ve already dropped them off for their freshman year of college and experienced the whole Welcome Weekend for Families deal, and I do not remember getting as emotional as this year.
And, in 2016, the year after the twins graduated high school, they traveled to Germany to spend seven months at Bodenseehof Torchbearer Bible School (where my daughter went after high school). which was of course so much farther and with no opportunity to see them as easily as now, 45 minutes to Newberg Oregon.
So, why oh why do I feel so emotional this year?
I wonder if it is because this is the first year my twins will be separated in the dorms they will be R.A.’s? Last year as freshmen they were in the same dorm — different floors but the same dorm — and they were both part of the Outdoor Club and they were both involved with Young Life ministry and they had many of the same friends, so they saw each other a lot.
But, this year, as Resident Assistants, they are in charge of floors in entirely different dorms that are a canyon apart — yes, literally; the way the campus in Newberg is set up, the dorm one of my twins is in is on one side of the canyon and the dorm my other twin is in is on the other side of the campus.
My twins are not only physically in separate areas of the campus, they are also in different “dorm leadership” groups, which means that their hangout time during “RA work hours” will be largely in separate groups.
I’ve heard some people say that it is good for twins to be separated, that it helps them to become “their own person” and to “have their own identity,” but I say that part of being a twin and part of that identity is precisely their twin-ship. My twins post photos of themselves and write “twinning” in the photo caption; they savor their life as twins.
As the mom of twins, I am so thankful that they are close, that they have mutual friends and that they always have each other. I tell them that all the time. Twins have a special bond while at the same time they are becoming who they are individually which includes being an identical twin.
But, I think I sobbed after dropping off my twins at college this year not only because of their twin connection, but because this, their sophomore year in college, means my twins are becoming all grown up and it is one year closer to when they will be graduating from college and leaving my nest, which I know is the goal eventually–you want independent kids who find their calling and their vocation, and who create their own families; and yet, as a mom, you want life to remain the same in so many ways.
I already miss my twins dearly, and as I write this tears again. I keep posting photos of family and friend times from this summer, and of my kids and me alone and my twins with their siblings and cousins and friends, things we have done together and just hanging out at home.
And there are so many other photos and memories that I did not post of the extraordinary ordinary. I want my twins — and all of my children — to always be close to us and to one another, and to know and experience the safety and LOVE that there is in true family, where people accept you and love you and cherish you. No. Matter. What.
Some say that you have 18 summers with their kids; I say, we have much more than that; many more than that. Oh, yes at 18 — and before — they begin to take those wings and start flying, start experiencing things, like one of my twins working away from home this summer– thankfully, he was in the same town that his sister lives in.
But, after those 18 summers, we have more and we have to work at creating additional family memories and keeping our families close.
The goal is a lifelong relationship with our children and their future spouses, to enjoy experiencing everyday life together as they slowly transition into adulthood, to share moments and monuments and the everyday ordinary which is always always always extraordinary.
It doesn’t mean I don’t cry after saying goodbye during these transition moments of raising kids; because, deep down, I know that my twins are growing up and moving forward, reaching for their dreams and becoming independent individuals.
So, yes, every once in a while, out of nowhere, I sob. Just because. Transitions. Back To school. Kids growing up. Seeing things change. I sob, just because I am Mom through and through.