Generally, I love talking about my boys. It's a pretty normal thing within my family and close friends to talk about Carter and "the twins". Despite the emotions and feelings of guilt, I have come to notice that there are times when I don't want to share our story. It's not that I don't count Carter as our child, because I do, or that I am ashamed or embarrassed of our story. It's more of the opposite. Sometimes I just get the feeling that the person won't understand or appreciate our boy so it feels more like I am protecting him by not sharing.
At times, it feels like I am being scrutinized and judged based on how I react when people ask questions or we tell our story. Like maybe we aren't sad enough, or we aren't tearing up, or we act like we miss our boy enough. None of those things will ever be true. We will always miss Carter, but it doesn't mean that we cry every minute of every day (although some days we do). Some days, I don't want to be judged by my emotions or seeming lack thereof. And some days, I just don't want the looks. The looks of pity or the awkward silences. I just want to be a normal person.
The other reason is that although Cohen isn't old enough to understand what's going on now, this is his story too and eventually, in some situations it will be up to him whether he wants to share or not. We will always talk about Carter and he will always know that he has a twin, but I want him to feel like he can choose if it's something he wants to share and when. I also don't want him to feel like he is defined by being a "twinless twin" because he is, but he's also so much more than that.
There are many times that we will share our story and we will share Carter with other people. What it comes down to is that in my heart, Carter is our boy and he always will be. We will never hide him from the world or act like he didn't exist. But, there are times when it feels as though it's all I can do to protect him and myself by not sharing his story. And I'm okay with it because for me, I know how much I love that boy and that will never change.