Moving to Massachusetts was not easy.
Well, alright, that’s not entirely true. Moving wasn’t hard. I had just graduated college and bought all of my furniture once I got here. What’s hard about that? No, the hard part is moving past being one of a few hundred thousand students, past being a “visitor.” It’s hard to become a Massachusetts resident in the sense of feeling like you can say “I’m from Boston.”
New Englanders can have a reputation for not being as “nice” as other parts of the country. That’s not entirely fair. What they are is more private. While people can be nice and friendly and gregarious, you still don’t find a lot of people trying to become friends with the new neighbors. Or, while you might certainly say hello to the neighbor across the street, they aren’t going to invite you over for dinner. It’s hard to really make friends when you’re not from around here.
At first, it was no big deal. We still had our college friends. M got his undergrad degree here, so a bunch of his friends were still around. A college friend of mine moved here the same time I did (and, in the end, married M’s roommate, but that’s another story). But, as these things go in the years post-college, people moved away. Friends left town, we moved out to the suburbs. As a newlywed with no kids in a house in the ‘burbs, I suddenly realized my social circle was very small. We didn’t really have work friends to hang out with, many of our neighbors were retired couples.
I suspected that having kids would be my big New England icebreaker. There would be a cute baby to talk about, new groups and activities to join. In an environment where people don’t actively seek out new friends, I’d have a new outlet. I had no idea how true this would be.
Some things were as I imagined: the new mom groups, music classes, and the like. What I didn’t imagine was how much the “twin thing” would change it all… for the better! Finding out I was having twins was certainly an unexpected twist, but it turns out I couldn’t be in a better place.
You see, it turns out that Massachusetts has the highest rate of twin births in the entire country. Add that to a very densely-packed area, and you can hardly turn a corner without seeing another double stroller. Now, I did read an article that suggested this was not so great, and you can see what I thought of that (spit, spit).
Truthfully, if you have twins, Boston is a great place to be. While some people might prefer to feel a little more “special” or unique, I rather like the fact that having twins is not the biggest deal in the world. I still felt like enough of a traveling circus with the Double Snap N Go, it was nice to also run into people who’d give you a knowing nod.
I was further reminded of the benefits this week at my Moms of Twins Club’s monthly “Cope” meeting. Half-support group and half-social club, I realized how lucky I was to have twins. Because, you know what? There’s no “Moms of Singletons” club. With my MOT club, I get to be in an organization that has an email group/message board for all kinds of parenting advice (not to mention things like referrals for a local plumber), that puts on events for the kids and for the moms, and is generally great for support and resources. It reminds me a lot of my sorority – a local chapter of a national organization, all women, a big/little sister program… OK, they don’t do formals and my sorority never held a huge tag sale. But you catch my drift.
Tricky as the social circles can be in Massachusetts, I was right in thinking that having kids would be the break-out that I was looking for. I had no idea that, by doubling down, a whole new world would open up to me. Looks like I was destined to be a Massachusetts Mama, after all.