Tuesday, 15 August 2017

The Day the Aliens came to stay (or what it's like to have twin sisters)

Quite a few years ago now (I won't embarrass them with how many years), on this very date, I was told by my grandparents that my twin sisters had been born. I had been shipped away to stay with them and await the imminent arrival of my baby sisters. And that day I remember exactly where I was, what I was doing and I knew that from that day on, life would change forever. 

I had been nine years as a lonely only child. I can still remember the excitement I felt knowing that I was no longer going to be on my own. However, little did I know what was in store being the big sister and the big sister to identical twins.

When my sisters were born, identical twins were a rarity as this was almost pre IVF days. Such was this phenomenon that there was a Twins Club set up in our town and at the first Twins Club picnic, the local newspaper attended to take pictures of the five sets of twins there. But prior to this I had become acutely aware that having identical twins in the family would be cause for complete strangers to stop us in the street to "oh" and "ah" at them and even give my Mum 50ps each for my sisters sat in the twin buggy, whilst my nine year old self stood on and looked awkward.
And whilst having identical twin sisters was and has always been a talking point, I can honestly say not ever, even for a second, have I ever resented their arrival. I liken it to when ET arrived at Elliott's house. Elliott was initially scared, didn't know how to treat the alien, how to care for it and be friends with it but then ET's presence changed everything, for the better (and changed Elliott from a bit of a spoiled brat into a nice person!).

I have always been fascinated by the whole twins thing,from their telepathy to feeling another's pain or symptoms even when they are opposite ends of the country to each other. I feel privileged to be a part of their very special connection.
Growing up and because of the age gap, I really was the big sister. I would help my Mum by taking the twins (as they are still referred to by family and friends, despite having very different and unique personalities!) to the shops, the park and helping teach them how to ride a bike. And for quite a while I still felt that only child loneliness but as the years have gone on, the nine year gap now feels like just a few months. The three of us are very close, not in a huggy way - at best our level of emotion is shown via a fist pump touch, but in that 'we've got each other's back's' way that you only get from long lasting and true, almost unconditional, friendship.
A lot of the time they both take on the role of big sister to me, and every situation I find myself facing-I will consult with them first. So as a small way of thanking my twin sisters for their unending support as best friends and sisters, I would like to apologise publicly to you both for the following:
  • Showing you both your Christmas presents hidden in the shed (they were bikes)
  • Being pissed off that you wanted to play with me and want backie bike rides
  • Being impatient and not checking you were sat on the back of my bike properly and then getting your leg twisted and caught in the wheel because you were not sat on properly..
  • Telling you about Father Christmas
  • Probably telling about the Tooth Fairy as well
  • Fainting in your class when I did my work experience at School
  • Not sharing the sledge
  • Only instigating the bedroom swap because I didn't want to clean my room
  • Making you wear those African inspired patterned matching top and harem bottoms, as teenagers
  • Having to leave you that night..
But as a measure of my love for my twin sisters one year I carved a "pumpkin" for them.. out of a swede. (Anyone that's ever had to cut into a swede will understand). And if I had to, I would carve a pumpkin out of stone for them.
Happy birthday twins.



  1. Aww what a beautiful post Julie. Even though you have a big age gap it shows what a close bond you have. My younger sister and I don't speak or see each other that much (we don't live miles apart either!) but we would do anything for each other. Your public apologies did make me laugh because some of those are probably the same things I'd need to apologise to my sister for!!! :D

    1. Haha glad you enjoyed it Steph.
      Julie xx


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