I have officially survived 20 years of being attached to someone who is my polar opposite.
And let's be honest--the past 20 years of our twinship has been pretty ridiculous. I would think a lot of other twins out there can relate to our story of growing together and apart at different stages in our lives.
I imagine it went something like this.
Birth - 2 years old
When you're between one and two years old, you don't really know much. But you do discover that you're constantly with another person, and we developed names for each other. My parents dubbed me "Peewee" because I was the smaller twin when we were born-- 2 lbs., 15 oz.--and I called Sam, "Sampee", which I'm assuming I came up with as a result of hearing Sam and Pee together all of the time. The names stuck, because we still call each other them today. You also look pretty similar at this point in your lives.
2 years old - 4 years old
Your twin becomes your preschool buddy. Field trips to the park? Matching windbreakers? You probably have matching haircuts, too, but you're too little for it to tick you off just yet. Your backpacks are different and you learn that you like to wear dresses and your sister absolutely hates it and tends to go for pants.
4 years old - 7 years old
Now you're off to kindergarten together where you start developing separate lives, since educators are adamant about separating twins to allow each one to "come into their own". You make your own friends and your cubbies are pretty far apart. Your teachers are also different, meaning you have different stories to tell Mom and Dad about your day. But around this time, we also started our T-ball careers, which consisted of two brown-haired girls in matching Mariners jerseys. Oh, and the sharing-a-room thing is really starting to annoy you.
7 years old - 11 years old
People can tell you apart. You're losing teeth at different times, wear completely different clothing, and you grew your hair long, when your twin kept her tomboy cut. You have different friends, go to different people's birthday parties and Mom and Dad have allowed you to have two different cakes on your birthday. You've developed a creepy love of school and she absolutely hates it. You play with your American Girl Doll, she lets it acquire dust while she gets dirty outside. You hold a "twin day" in the second grade, when you and your twin wear matching overalls and traipse around town together. You get the chicken pox at the same time, and spend the night scratching every inch of your body while watching movies side-by-side.
11 years old - 13 years old
Your sides of the room look drastically different. Your mother tried to compromise by painting blue and pink stripes on white walls and letting you both have different colored comforters. You have even more different groups of friends and your relationship isn't made any less awkward going through the awkward middle school years themselves. You like to gossip about boys and love school. She likes to be best friends with the guys and tries to find any excuse to stay home.
14 years old - 17 years old
High school. Teachers and students who know one of you associate you with your twin immediately. You're more affectionately known by your last name with an "s" attached to it like a couple. If you thought you were different before, you're even more opposite now. Your fights are meaner, you stay mad at each other for longer and you're experts at ticking the other one off. Your friend circles are more diverse and you've really come into your own. But you also might do something fun to show off your twinhood, like run for class president and vice president with the slogan, "Twins for Twenty-Ten."
18 years old - 19 years old
You're really parting ways. You move to one new home, she moves to another. She enlists in something like the Army, you traipse off to college or journalism school. After 18 years of sharing, fighting, laughing and being partners in crime, you're finally leaving the comforts of each other and home to go off on your own.
20 years old
If you saw your twin every day, you probably wouldn't recognize her life. You start to delve into your own career paths, relationships and future plans.
But she's always going to be your twin, and you're always going to love sharing your birthday with her. And you'll probably never stop wondering, "How in the world did we get through 20 years together?"
You'll never know.
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