Now that I have the perspective of over 40 years, I realize that having twin boys was truly a gift.
During the "sleep deprivation" stage I would have told you that you're crazy -- "I'm dying. I am very close to becoming a caged animal. When will this every end?"
That blur in time to the contrary, here is why I believe that having twins was a gift:
1. Learning the essential skills of diapering, feeding, bathing, rocking was simply not an option -- like it or not, if I had taken the attitude of "You take care of the kids. I have to go bring home the bacon," I would have been a dead man!
2. Since I was totally clueless on how to be a father, it forced me to search out some expert help, which I found in the seminal book on the subject: How to Father. Baby in one hand and book in the other, I steered my way through the turbulent waters of early childhood.
3. I quickly became aware that each child was different -- starting at birth. Different in temperament, different in when they acquired physical skills, different in how they learned, two totally unique individuals. What worked with one did not work with the other (except for rewarding them with M&M's during potty training).
I could list many other more reasons they were a gift, but the granddaddy of them all was that by completely letting down my emotional shield, being vulnerable and authentic, I experienced my deepest desire -- to love and be loved, unconditionally.
This March 18 will mark 40 years. I still get misty when I remember the moment when I looked into their eyes, love looked back, and shattered the steel armor enclosing my heart.
If you are a parent -- twins or not -- you know what I mean.