I can’t believe it. I really and truly can’t believe it. Today, my baby sisters turn 42.
Okay, okay, they aren’t actually 42. But together, their age adds up to 42. That’s right, my little twin sisters are now officially 21 years old.
I remember it like yesterday… Or rather, like two decades ago yesterday. (The memory is a wee bit fuzzy). One moment, I’d been shipped off to my grandparents’ house to spend the night, and the next—bam!—suddenly there were two tiny, wrinkled, identical aliens that were supposedly my sisters.
Here I need to pause to clarify: I’m not being mean; they were very, very wrinkled and very funny-looking. Even my parents will attest to this. But their odd appearance didn’t change the fact that I loved them and they were, quite literally, my baby sisters. Even now, 21 years later, I still think of them as my “kiddos,” and I love them dearly.
However, growing up with twin siblings wasn’t exactly a walk in the park. In fact, walks in the park usually presented the most problems. My mom would be pushing them in their 90’s lime green double stroller, and complete strangers would appear out of nowhere and bombard us with questions. “Oh my goodness, are they TWINS?! How old are they? What are their names? They are sooooooooooo cute!” Invariably, their voices would climb to obnoxiously high pitches and volumes as they expressed their excitement. “Can I hold one???” And with that, my adorable little bundles of attention-stealing joy would capture the heart of yet another innocent bystander. Which left me as the awkward older sister. Bummer. To make matters worse, at age 2 they even were cast in a real, bona fide movie. So while they were hanging out with Martin Sheen, Patty Duke, and Jason London, I was watching The Brave Little Toaster. Double bummer.
As if their ascent to “stardom” wasn’t enough, at age six they became obsessed with Mary-Kate and Ashley, especially their mystery movies. My doting parents indulged them and bought them “real” spy gear, including fingerprinting kits, lock pickers and, my least favorite, the eavesdropping device. This translucent dish and headphones allowed them to listen in on conversations in other rooms. And, of course, my room became their most frequent target.
Don’t worry, though; I managed to leave my mark on them too. In fact, the mark remains to this day. When choosing names for my sisters, my parents spent long hours picking out the best, most beautiful names they could find. They avoided rhymes (like Hallie and Callie) and alliteration (like Susie and Sallie) and opted instead for exotic names, uncommon names, names as beautiful as the European countries from which they came: Kirsten (pronounced “Keer-sten”) and Anneliese (pronounced “On-uh-lee-zuh” ). Charming, memorable, elegant, and altogether lovely.
What my parents didn’t consider was that their other child was 2 ½ . Which meant that she couldn’t say words like Anneliese and Kirsten. So what happened? Anneliese became Anne-uh-weezuh, which quickly devolved into Weasel. And Kirsten simply became Rascal.
Anneliese and Kirsten… Weasel and Rascal…. Oops.
They still go by their nicknames today…. Double oops.
Despite my accidental passive aggression, I really do love my little sisters. They make it super easy because, honestly, they are the best younger sisters a girl could ask for. They’re caring, they’re kind, they give me back massages (Rascal had to take a sports massage class for her athletic training/premed major; she’s awesome!). They listen to me, they forgive me even when I mess up big time, and they love me unconditionally. They are always there for me, and I know that, night or day, rain or shine, no matter what, I can count on them. We laugh together, cry together, and laugh together until we cry. I love them more than a silly blog post could ever say, and I consider myself so, so, so immeasurably blessed to call them my sisters. I thank God for them daily, and I could not be prouder of who they are—and who they are becoming. And I pray that, Lord-willing, the next 21 years will be full of even more inside jokes, impromptu dance parties, deep conversations, and incredible memories.
And so, Weasel and Rascal, I wish you the best 42nd birthday in the entire world! Rascal, don’t catch you hair on fire; Weasel don’t spit on the cake; and both of you, don’t faint from blowing out all those candles. 😉