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(c) 1992 Sherman Lambert

What woman thinks she’s going to face infertility, at least if she’s relatively young and healthy? I thought you planned for the right timing and then everything else fell in place. And so it seemed at the beginning of our quest to become parents. After the second month we tried, we believed we were on the road to parenthood. However, that pregnancy slipped away from us within a couple weeks of receiving the initial news.

Well, I still thought pursuing the right timing was important for causing the least amount of disruption in my workplace. That’s when I started charting my cycles and noticing that some patterns didn’t seem right. While driving to work, I’d hear Bonnie Raitt singing “Baby Mine” on the radio, but I’d begun to wonder if there would be a baby mine.

Just under a year after the first time—with some additional help from the doctors—we’d merged back onto the road to parenthood. However, I’d stopped worrying about disrupting work—I was starting to understand that babies are disruptive—no matter what! But, we still experienced problems—which led to our discovering early on that I was carrying twins. I prayed at least one baby mine would make it. Through medical interventions, my focused behaviors, and the grace of God, those babies mine did arrive, just a little early but so healthy we only got to stay in the hospital one day.

Turns out that amateur who read my palm before I ever met my kids’ father had been right about a couple things: I did have twins and each was strong-willed, even if they weren’t both boys.

When your only two kids are twins, each developmental phase is new to you no matter what. If you are also blessed with strong-willed kids who also have ADD, you soon learn that helping to guide their individual development can be exhausting even as you love them. Add in advocating to schools and medical professionals and somehow life becomes so much more complicated than you ever expected.

Now those babies mine are legally adults in many ways—I can’t access their educational or medical records on my own—but they are learning about many of the difficulties associated with life after high school. The world doesn’t really care that kids with ADD are supposed to take longer to figure out how to manage many everyday daily tasks. In fact, the world doesn’t really care that science is showing that even the brains of people without ADD don’t really finish developing until they reach their mid-20s.

My son doesn’t know what exactly he wants, but he seems to be floating on, finding happy moments in each day. For him I worry that he doesn’t worry enough about figuring out how to find a place in this world. If college isn’t his thing now, what is?

And, my daughter—well, I mourn the happy-go-lucky child who brought sunshine into my life. I glimpse her and then she slides back into her worries and sadness. I’ve searched for solutions for her, but in the end that quest isn’t mine.

So we’ve reached the point when I can guide them to resources, but can’t make them access them. What a hard place along the parenting journey . . .

(c) 2010 Sherman Lambert

I’ve run my part of the course of both their developments—the steps aren’t mine to take anymore. I just have to trust in the process and know that I can’t really control the timing for when these babies of mine find their own separate ways in this world anymore than I could plan when they arrived in this world.

Though I don’t know the grand plans for them, Someone else does.

(c) 2009 Christiana Lambert

One year later, our kids’ leaving home is entirely different from the first exit. The house is quiet once again, but how we got here is a whole new story.

This is the very first year Christiana and Jackson are not in school together. Unlike many twins, they did not separate for their freshmen year in college. That made our lives easier—one location, one calendar, one move-in day, one school to get to know.

1995 First Day of Preschool


The kids’ initial separation occurred earlier this year when Christiana accepted a job working as a conference assistant for Fort Lewis College. When I picked her up for a short stay between the end of the semester and the start of her job, she was pretty angry with him. We took her back before he arrived home. While talking with Jackson, we discovered he was frustrated with her.

Although they had moved into different dorm buildings, she had moved into his building within a couple months. Easier to spend time to together that way, but also easier to fall into old patterns. We didn’t used to call them “The Bickersons” for nothing—and, yet, they are very close.

Within a couple weeks of being apart this spring, they were already missing each other and trying to figure out how to visit one another despite the 13-hour round trip drive.

All along we’ve worried about whether Jackson could stay at Fort Lewis, but Christiana is the one who started to question whether the college was right for her, ultimately giving notice from her work there after two months and coming home to her old job.

Meanwhile she waited to see if she could get accepted into Colorado State University and get everything in order to transfer for the fall—if she decided to make the change. Jackson was happy to have her back home, but not so excited about the possible longer separation.

The funny thing was that our relationship with him became less strong once she came home. Reminded me of how often those two were a force against us when they were children. Twins can be a powerful team and woe to those who would try to get in between them, even unintentionally.

1997 First Day of School

Here it is the second week of school already for her and the first for him.

She and we jumped through a lot of hoops to get her set up for fall semester. We moved her possessions into an apartment a couple weekends ago and then she and I returned a few days later for transfer orientation—she to stay and I to return home. During orientation, the facilitators’ words allowed me to see I was in mourning for the change myself even though I feel it is the right move for her and am glad to have her closer to us. It’s just I thought I knew what to expect for this their sophomore year.

Very few parents of multiples get to have their kids at the same college—we’re just going through the more typical transition in our family a year later than most do. In the end what matters is that each kid follows the path that is right for him or her.

Jackson had time off work before needing to leave for school, so he insisted on going to visit Christiana to “help” her with her first few days of school. I know he slept in late while she started the next step in her education, but I also think he provided a steadying presence as she starts to adjust to the paradigm shift of moving her studies from a small liberal arts college to a large university.

He came home saying he’d like to live with her again in the few years after they get out on their own. I have no idea if that’s a good plan or not, but I think they’ll have a better idea after they have lived separately for the next few years.

1997


Sherman and I helped him move into his college apartment last Saturday. How strange to be at that school again without her.

The transition back to school lasted a couple weeks for our family this time around—which is exhausting no doubt for all of us.

The road to independence has additional twists for twins and their parents—as well as a possible fork or two. We parents will just try to enjoy the drive, even while traveling without a map.

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