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Growing up as a Minnesota twin

March 22, 2010

by Jenni Sebora

I am a Minnesota twin. Yes, I am a Minnesota Twins fan, but I am also a twin – a fraternal one. I have a twin brother.

Although we are not the same sex, my mother wanted our names to be similar. Thus, we are Jennifer Louise and Christerfer Lee. No one, at least the first time around, spells my brother’s name correctly. Not only did our mom want our names to be similar in sound but also in spelling. Growing up, we were often called by our given names, at least by my mother. It was Jennifer and Christerfer.

We were born to older parents. Our mother was in her late 40’s and our father was in his early 50’s when we blessed them with our delivery. This was not common 40 years ago. It is more common now, but then, it was the common practice to have your children when you were in young adulthood, in age anyway. In fact, I believe that my mother did not share the information with my father that she was pregnant with more than one child. Maybe she thought it would give my father too much time to think about it.

Nevertheless, we were born. Born to older parents whom already had married children and grandchildren and who had basically raised one family.

Yes, my twin and I were born into the world as an aunt and uncle. We have nieces and nephews older than us, the same age as us, and of course, younger than us.

Three of our siblings were married when we entered the family, and one brother was in high school. So you can imagine who got stuck watching us a lot – our blessed brother, Chuck – Charles, as our mom always called him (by his given name, of course).

So it was, I shared the same tight quarters with my brother since we were conceived – in different sacs since we were fraternal, but nonetheless, we grew up together literally since day one. He was born first, and I came after. The number of minutes after has always been an item of debate. My twin claims 14 minutes; however, I just knew it was less.

I don’t know why we waited so long to end the debate by going to the only one who really knew, our mother. Our mom settled it. It was 12 minutes on March 12. However, we were born very close to midnight – a couple of minutes longer (if it had really been 14 minutes later), I would have had a different birth date than my twin.

He can claim two minutes more of maturity (not the truth), and I can claim he was just pushier. Whatever the case, we are twins, and I am glad of it. We played together, argued together, share birthdays together, were in the same classes together, were college roommates for a couple of years, and remain best of friends. And my husband has become one of his best friends.

In fact, we got married within a year of each other, and each of our families consists of three children, each two girls and one boy. Our three children are practically the same ages, as well.

I would assume that most children born of multiples feel a special connection to their sibling(s). Growing up, my twin and I shared so many of the same memories. When our mother passed away, it was he and I together holding her hands, saying our last good-byes. It was a memory that forever will remain with me, and I am so glad we were together.

We have stuck together through ups and downs, tears and joy, pain and laughter. I will always be able to count on him, and he the same. There is something about being a twin that I cannot even explain. It is a bond that will remain.