My twin sisters enjoyed the sea this summer.

September has seen many birthdays in my family this month, including that of my two sisters, Ursula and Lydia. Twins are very common in my family in that I have twin sisters, twin cousins, twin uncles, my grandfather was one of a twin and I, sadly, lost twins shortly before they were born. And, of course, contrary to popular belief, twins don’t always skip a generation. It has always been the youngest and oldest who have produced them – my father was the oldest son of my grandfather, the youngest son produced twins – my cousins. My grandfather  had twin sons (my uncles Mick and Mike) and himself  the oldest of his siblings. I was the youngest child of my father (produced twins) and if my brother had have children, we are certain he would have produced twins too.

My sisters break the family mould in that they are identical twins. My father always had difficulty in telling them apart, especially as he got older, often having to wait to see which their respective husbands or children arrived with them before he could be certain who was who. As they’ve grown older, they have changed slightly in size, hair styles and life’s ups and downs taking their toll but for two dears now in their sixties, they haven’t done so bad and whilst they may look less identical now, when they are asleep, it is awfully hard telling them apart.

As a child, being their younger sister was always difficult as they had little time for me, their sickly baby sister because they had each other for company. Cries of “Oh Mum, do we have to take her/look after her?” still reverberate in my head. The three of us had to share the same bedroom too as our house wasn’t large enough to each have our own room. I had their outgrown clothes – two of everything (which I hated), their discarded toys and whilst they had new bicycles one Christmas, I had to make do with a secondhand one. It was no wonder I was a jealous and that we always fought.  But those days are long gone.  Now we are adults we are very close indeed. The best of friends.

So, you might wonder, is it really true that identical twins think and feel the same as each other. Well, over the years there have been examples to qualify this and also to disprove. Ursula has two sons and two grandsons, Lydia two daughters and two granddaughters.   Character-wise, my sisters are very different; Ursula is a tough cookie, very much the leader who doesn’t take fools gladly, has strong opinions and certainly isn’t shy to voice them. Lydia, conversely, is easy going and soft, a bit like me, and they often have very differing opinions on things.

It’s difficult with twins when buying cards and gifts as one doesn’t want to buy them the same thing, but many is the time I can find a card to suit one but then cannot find something equally suitable for the other. The same with gifts. And there’s another thing… It has happened on numerous occasions that I or others in my family have received identical birthday or Christmas cards from them despite their buying and choosing totally independently of the other. They have even been known to buy each other the same present. Likewise with clothes. I’ve known them go out shopping separately, to different towns, and then come home having each bought the same dress. And it’s happened on many occasions that at family gatherings, they’ve arrived wearing almost identical outfits.

I also know that if one telephones me for whatever reason, the other will be calling me within the next half-hour. It’s spooky sometimes, has caused a lot of mirth and fun (yes, they did used to swap places etc at school to trick the teachers) and I wouldn’t swop them for the all the world.


13 responses to “Twins

  1. Coming from a family that has no twins in it (that I’m aware of), this was a fun and informative post for me. Thanks! Oh, and by the way, being the third (and last) girl of 3, I completely understand about the “does she HAVE to tag along” and hand-me-down clothes! 🙂

  2. We do have twins on both my husbands and my side but I wasn’t close to the cousins and of my sister-in-law and brother-in-law aren’t that close. One of my nieces died when she was only a few years old. So while we have twins in our families, and Jack I worried when we were having our family because we didn’t really want to go that route, I haven’t the experiences you have.

    As always I enjoyed your blog. Do you all live close now?

    • Lavada, my sisters and my mum live in close proximity to each other in Reading, about 80 miles from me, about an hour’s drive away. If it wasn’t for the price of fuel for the car we would see a lot more of each other. Most of the kids in my family now take out insurance in case they have twins. Pleased you enjoy the blog. 🙂

  3. Valerie J. Patterson

    Hi Kit. Nice blog and a right good tribute to your sisters, too. I’m glad they’ve outgrown you tagging along! 😛

  4. Valerie, nowadays, my sisters get upset if I don’t tag along with them. Such a pity we live too far apart to do more together. Keep telling hubby we need to move closer to them but can’t see that ever happening. 🙂

    • Valerie J. Patterson

      I know what you mean about there being distance between you. I live a good 130 miles round trip from my family. At first, it was nothing to drive up for the weekend. Now, it just doesn’t happen as much. Gas prices, job commitments, family and church obligations, etc. I’m trying my darndest to change some of that, but life keeps throwing things my way! 😛

  5. Have never given a thought to the difficulty of buying cards and presents for twin siblings, Kit. And how interesting that they often buy the same things and call you within a short period of each other. It’s lovely that you are all so close now. What a precious gift.

    • Valuable and precious indeed. I sometimes think of how much we missed out as children, that we weren’t closer then. Hopefully we have made up for all our past misdemeanours.

  6. We are a family of twins as well. Ours are all fraternal. It’s neat how some of the things you talked about have happened with my cousins. Interesting how they do some of the same stuff. I’m glad you’re all close – that’s wonderful.

    • Thanks Jillian. My two often do things together – a few years ago, one sister broke her foot, two days later the other broke her wrist. That was one of the years we didn’t get to do a holiday together. They both said they wanted a break, but not the sort they both ended up with. 🙂


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