I’m an identical twin, which can feel a little like being a celebrity. Just about every time I go somewhere with my twin sister, someone stops us to say, “Excuse me, I just can’t help but ask … are you two twins?”
Often, the person asking follows up this question with their own twin story. Maybe they have a twin or there are twins in their family. Once, my sister and I spent half an hour at a restaurant talking to a friendly waitress who had found out recently that she was pregnant with twins. She wanted some reassurance, which we were happy to give!
We attract even more stares in public since we became mothers. Somehow, each of our four children has been born very close in age to each other’s children. Our oldest children were born 13 days apart, and our youngest are only 6 days apart! Before you start to wonder what everybody and their mother asks us, no, none of this was planned—except by God. We chalk it up to the mysteries of twin biology. And no, none of our children are twins!
Another question we are often asked is whether twins “run in the family,” but most people don’t know that having identical twins isn’t a question of genetics. Fraternal twins (who share the same in common as any siblings) can run in a family, but identical twins come as a random matter of luck, like lightning striking.
Or like winning the lottery, I should say, because it feels so very lucky. I truly love being a twin, and secretly (shhhhh) I feel a little bit sorry for everyone who isn’t a twin. From my perspective, being a singleton seems a little lonely.
To be clear, I didn’t always love being a twin. My sister and I went through a rough patch in our early teens when we got tired of people mistaking us for each other. My friends would tease me for my habit of holding up two fingers while declaring, “We’re two entities!”
But now I’m a big fan, and these are 5 things I love most about it.
1I have a built-in best friend
From my first day of school to sleepaway summer camp, I never had to show up to new places alone. I always had a buddy, and that brought a lot of comfort and security to a shy little girl.
We are still best friends today, and even closer than ever. In fact, we’ve chosen to live in the same town so we can raise our children together!
2I can go incognito
I can’t tell you the number of times that a complete stranger has come up to me and warmly greeted me by my sister’s name. Sometimes I pause to correct them—“You must have mistaken me for my identical twin”—but if it’s a very brief interaction, I just smile and nod and play along. Honestly, I find it very funny to get away with pretending to be someone else!
On top of that, we have the same DNA, so technically I could frame her if I ever committed a crime. Not that I ever would do that, but it is nice to know I have the option … just in case. Ahem. Where where we?
3It’s a lifelong relationship
I’m not joking when I say that my twin and I have inside jokes that go back to toddlerhood. There is something incredibly special about that kind of lifelong, super close bond.
Of course, we haven’t always gotten along over the decades we’ve been together. But our disagreements over the years taught us how to fight fairly and to get along with someone with whom we spend most of our time. We both think that our relationship prepared us well for marriage.
4I have a fashion test subject
Have you ever wondered what you’d look like if you dyed your hair blonde, or wore an unusual new style? As a twin, I have an automatic test subject for all kinds of new looks.
My sister is more adventurous about fashion and style than I am, so I’ve had the chance to “try out” plenty of different styles over the years through watching her experiments. Let’s just say I’ll never dye my hair red. But thanks, sis, for taking one for the team!
5We have double the friends!
We’ve gotten along well with most of each other’s friends over the years. So we’ve been able to visit each other in new places and immediately connect with our sister’s friends who welcomed us with open arms.
Even now that we live in the same place, we make new friends in different places. Last week my sister introduced me to a new friend she’d met at her son’s baseball game, and I introduced her to my new friend I’d met through a homeschooling group. We are both very social, so we love the perk of having twice as many friends with half the work.
Are you a twin, or have twins in your family? I’d love to hear about your experiences too!