No more training wheels for Twin A.! Last weekend Llama Papa patiently worked with the noisy boys and their two-wheeler bikes. He ran beside them, declared himself too old for it all, but kept going anyway. Twin A. fell and got up; fell and got up; then took off and hasn’t looked back since. Twin B. still needs some practice.
One of the uniquely difficult aspects of raising twins (once you get past the tandem feedings and gazillions of diapers) is helping each of them to form their own identity apart from their twin. We are blessed with boys who are best friends, and while I want to nurture the special bond they share, I am also aware of their innate differences. I want to help each of them grow to their full potential and find God’s purposes for their lives. We work hard to not compare them to eachother, but as they get older, that’s not enough. They compare themselves to eachother, which makes it difficult to encourage one without discouraging the other. It’s a constant balancing act.
Twin B. doesn’t want to keep practicing on two wheels. He wants to give up. He’s afraid of falling. He feels dumb fumbling along next to his brother, who is zooming around our court effortlessly.
As I reflected on this today, the Parable of the Talents came to mind (Matthew 25:14-30). In the story, the master gives out different sums of money to his servants, and expects them each to use what they’ve been given, whether the gift was small or large. And his response to the servants at the end of the story tells me that the point is not really what they produced, it’s that they tried at all. The servant that was held back by fear was chastised—fear is no excuse.
As I watch Twin B. and his struggle to ride a bike, I think of my own struggle to use the gifts God has given me. Often I am held back by fear or a sense of inadequacy. I compare myself to the people around me and feel like giving up. And yet just as I know Twin B. will fall and struggle as he learns to ride his bike, my Heavenly Father is well aware of my weaknesses and struggles. He knows that as I venture out into new territory, using the gifts He’s given me, I’ll make mistakes. I’ll feel dumb. But I believe He is pleased with our efforts. He wants to teach us. He’s delighted with the unique way He made each of us, even me, and as we take risks in spite of our fears, He runs alongside of us, cheering us on.