Womb Mate

I am not sure how my twin and I went over forty years without hearing that term, but we both broke out with guffaws when our friend, Denise, used it the first time. Of course, there are times when we are easily entertained, but Denise is funny.

Twins are not uncommon, but it can be a novelty. Here are answers to the basic questions we both get when someone learns we have a twin but haven’t met the other twin yet:

We have no idea what it is like to have a twin. We also don’t really know what it’s like to not have a twin. We are not bothered in the least by that question, we just don’t have an answer for you. We can answer what it’s like to be single, married, a parent, etc. We have frames of reference for those questions. Twins? We’ve never, ever not been a twin. No frame of reference.

We are not identical. At all. We have the same, exact blue eye color. And we are female. And we have the same family members. That is pretty much where our similarities end. No, we don’t have twin names. SHE was unexpected. (She was also named after a sister’s doll. Mom says no, it was a great-grandmother, but we all know …) I was lovingly planned. Or, at least for nine months one baby was planned. I am the oldest. Therefore, I was planned. She tagged along. I tell her this often. Mom always tries to bolster her, but we all know …

I’ll expand on our looks first, then we’ll get to the personalities. Because, wow. Our looks and personalities could not be any different.

Kathy, the twin, looks like my mother’s side of our family. Her hair is dark blonde/light brown, very straight, and grows very fast. Her teeth are naturally straight and there is something so unfair about that. She has a beautiful singing voice and sings to the likes of Bon Jovi, Journey, Boston, The Carpenters, and Suzy Bogguss. That really isn’t part of her appearance, but it’s true nonetheless. We both have big, beautiful, room-warming smiles, but my whole family is blessed with them. She is bigger than me. Taller. Fuller. More muscular. So not only did she crash my glorious entrance into this family, she took all the growing juices. (Yes, she used to beat me up. A lot. Pulled me off the top bunk once. MOOOMMMMM!)  Of the four sisters, she looks much like the oldest sister, Gwen.

My looks are straight from my dad (except the end of my nose–purely Mom). I have blonde hair, naturally curly, and it grows slower than molasses in January. My teeth are gorgeously straight … and cost my parents handsomely to get them that way. I can put on some awesome concerts–Metallica, Godsmack, Avenged Sevenfold, and Disturbed to name a few–as long as I am alone. Singing is not my strongest talent. I am not a very big person. Frequently get called mini. Now that I think of it, maybe that started my high heel fascination. I look very much like our sister, Susie. (In fact, she is frequently mistaken for my twin to friends who’ve not met my siblings. I can even see how much we look alike.)

But wait! The differences do not stop there! I think our personalities are what made both of us stop short of letting horoscopes plan our lives. For us being born at the same time, under the same sign, we could not be any more different. Don’t get me wrong–we have our twin moments, but not a lot. Actually, a lot of our twin traits are also shared with our six siblings. Pretty sure that’d be classified under “family traits” and not “twin traits.”

I am an extrovert; she’s an introvert. I walk into a room and I *will* take over this party! She lets me. If I find humor in something, I share it now. If she finds humor, she will quietly tell those close to her. If she makes someone mad, she’ll not be quiet about it. Same goes if someone makes her mad. If I make someone mad, I’ll try to fix it when I can. If someone makes me mad, more than likely they’ll never know it. I am afraid to try to new things, but if I don’t I won’t know if I like it. If Kathy is afraid to try new things, I usually tell her how it was so she can try next time! 😉

This is just a snippet of us, but above all  I have my very own built-in champion, supporter, partner, advocate–my God-given best friend. We love our differences. We love living vicariously through each other’s traits. Above all, we love.

Well, here goes …

I asked my oldest daughter last night what I should write about for my first blog. She stated it should be how awesome she is. So it shall be, but I will also be including her sister–she’s pretty awesome, too (and a little about me. I am pretty awesome, too.)

Grace just graduated high school and is struggling at the moment with decisions for her future. She has a lot of opportunities in front of her. I would love to wave my magic wand and know what the best option is for her, but we all know that life doesn’t work that way. I am pleased for her that she has a struggle with these options–any options. She is a great kid. Well, a great adult. She is very helpful and hard working. She is funny, fun, sometimes shy, sometimes out-going, a hard worker, and overall … pretty awesome. She likes NASCAR, hockey, football, concerts, country music, rock music, classic rock music, cooking, healthy living, and fitness.

Gretchen is a junior in high school. She is also struggling with decisions for her future, but gets to think a couple more years on them. She is already investigating colleges. She, too, is a great kid. She is funny, fun, NEVER shy, very out-going, hard worker, hard player, and overall … pretty awesome. She likes hardcore music, a little country music, concerts (a lot of them), NASCAR, and hockey. She doesn’t like cooking so much (she caught a towel on fire once, set her back on cooking now), but she is a world-class eater. Thank goodness she, too, also is healthy and fit. She is the proud owner of two rats, Duncan and Barry; and a cat, Martin. Truth be told, she also has a slew of stray cats that hang around our house. And a ‘possum named Dan. Long story.

At this point, I will state that I brag about my daughters a lot. Even if there doesn’t seem to be anything to brag about, I find something. I am extremely confident that they are the very best things their dad and I ever did. In life. Ever. They are awesome.

Me. Hmm. There is a lot here. Brass tacks: I am a middle-age mom. I am the seventh out of eight children (the eighth being a mere five minutes younger than me)–four girls and four boys. Well, women and men by this age. At least chronologically. I will not vouch for anyone’s maturity. I am fairly outgoing. I think I am a fairly likable person, though I can name at least three people right now who may think otherwise. I am not fine with that, but I am okay with that. It took me a long time to know that I am not everyone’s cup of tea. I work in politics, in a nonpartisan office. I, too, like NASCAR. And rock music. I watch football and hockey, but that’s because it’s always on in my house. I am dating my very first love, Herman, whom I met when I was thirteen years old. Oh, and I have a Rottweiler-mix dog, Annie.

I will also make a quick introduction on the girls’ father, Chris. We are divorced. We are very good friends. Better friends now than when we were married. We still truly want the very best for each other. He is a great dad. My daughters adore him, and that makes me happy. He is a drummer (probably their music influence from early on), a truck driver, very funny, a NASCAR and hockey fan, likes cooking, and is also a world-class eater. He just had a stress test (long story, and probably a future blog) so I know he’s healthy. I will sit quietly on the “fit” part, as I have no room to talk because I hit the snooze every morning on my “get up and exercise” alarm.

I’ve been through hell. More than once. I try to look at everything with humor. Even when it’s not humorous. I don’t always have humor when I am going through events, but can find it eventually. I give credit to my mother (and grandmother) in learning to deal with issues this way, based on hearing all my life that this, too, shall pass.