Each and everyone of us is different. No two people are the same. Even identical twins have different personalities. Having triplets makes me think every day to make sure each child realizes his own "uniqueness" and doesn't think we think of them as a "set".
Most people do refer to them as "the triplets". I don't think it is necessarily a bad thing. They ARE triplets and this in itself makes them unique. So, it is something we talk about. I tell the boys they are triplets and explain it in simple language they hopefully can understand. At least twice a day I am asked if "they are twins". (referring to Colin and Ciaran) At this point, they all answer "no, we are triplets!" Kind of cute. But I also make a point of pointing out each one and telling their indivdual names.
What makes us unique can also make us different. Kids don't usually want to be different. They don't want to stand out. They want to be like everone else. (especially teens). I think as the boys grow up they will learn to love the idea they are triplets. I certainly hope so. My hope is they realize how lucky they re to have each other. To always have someone with them at school or on the same team. To never feel alone. On the other hand I want them to feel OK about having their own friends and not feeling obligated to only play with their brothers.
Having their own "uniqueness" is also identifying what makes them each individual. Cormac is unique, not different, for his deafness and his implants. I want him to feel comfortable knowing who he is and nothing was ever WRONG with him. We considered him perfect from the moment we laid eyes on his chubby lil' face.
Isn't it strange that part of what makes them unique is being a triplet but I spend time trying to figure out how not to consider the a "unit"? Truly, they are all so different and have no personality traits in common. They do, however, all speak the same way. They use the same phrases, say the same phrases incorrectly and so on. I am noticing the phrases and way they speak sounds just like Frank and I sound. I guess we are their speech models so it makes sense.
We do have little problem with how they are speaking lately. Most of you know but we have two dogs who are the cutest in the world BUT they listen to NOTHING. I am yelling at them all day long. Frank and I tend to say "go downstairs, NOW, Go upstairs, NOW. You get it. We would never talk that way to the kids. Recently, Ciaran started saying "Juice or milk or cookie Now." I also call the dogs "bad dogs" and have NEVER called the boys bad and never would. When one of the boys does something wrong the other two call him bad boy. I correct it everytime and say they are not "bad" but being naughty or mischievious or any other word than bad. I think Frank and I need to change how we talk to and about our four legged babies.
As for Cormac, his deafness does not define him. It is part of him. Part of him we embrace. Ciaran and Colin will benefit from seeing their brother overcome the obstacles before him. THey will learn anything is possible with hard work. I hope they will learn to respect other people differences. It's the differences that make us who we are as people. Wether you need glasses, hearing aids, implants, or maybe you need braces. Hey, I had red hair and trust me, it wasn't in fashion to be a red head in the 80's! It doesn't matter. Who you are is what is inside your heart. It is how you treat people. It's how deeply you love and are loved It is how you view the world. One should never be defined by their differences.
Ok, on a TOTAL other note. I took Cormac to school today. When we got home I went into the family room. My Mom was there with Ciaran and Colin. And the cutest thing ever happened. Ciaran walks up behind Cormac, wraps his arms around him in a hug, puts his head on Cormac's shoulder and says "I missed you, Cormac". It was priceless. And of course, both my mother and I were brought to tears. I think I might be doing something right!