“Twin Sister” vs. “Sister”


I wrote this for my sister this morning, because for whatever reason, love just makes the most sense in terms of having a twin today. Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, and although siblings aren’t typically given rights of appreciation on February 14th, I’m not sure how many people would have a better example of kinship than this. It just makes sense, and even if they are just my words about just my family, I think many people can relate, even if you don’t have a twin or brothers and sisters.

“Twin Sister” vs. “Sister”


I ran in, she dragged us out

I spoke back, she walked away

I cried, and she was mad

I laughed and poked her, and sometimes she smiled;

Other times she’d just hit me, so I’d leave her alone.

I had friends, but usually they were ours,

I forgot and she remembered,

She was more afraid of water than me,

She has a boyfriend now.

We always said I would write the stories,

And she would do the art.

It was an unspoken understood in elementary school that we would grow up and live in either side of a duplex, next door to one another.

We had a secret language that nobody can read unless they try. It looks like runes, but it’s based off the English Alphabet. She has her version, and I have mine, for the special occasion of spy missions to rescue one another from kidnapping.

We have the same voice, they always said,

Sometimes we’d spook the hell out of my brother Casey, yelling across the entire house,

Because he couldn’t figure out who was talking,

And it scared the crap out of my friends when she visited.

There was always two of us,

So when they misspelt our last name or said it wrong,

It wasn’t anything like the instantaneous turn of the head, responding to “Lauren!”

As if it were my own name.

Certain things are understood. They just are. I keep in better touch with our parents, but I tell her the highlights. We don’t “talk”, but we make a lot of inside jokes on FB, back and forth like a sudden death round of ping pong.

If you don’t have a twin, I’m not sure you will ever fully understand the idea of permanence. As quickly as I forget, some things just don’t change. “Collaboration.” “Division of Labor.” If you haven’t had to slice a tuna fish sandwich precisely down the middle, knowing that any sleight of hand or tactile stutter would leave her half slightly bigger than yours (because that was fair), then maybe you’ll never understand surgery either. Can you understand explaining something without words? Even though our first (and her only) language is English, things were simply understood, long before the words came in.

If I cry in the middle of the night and she wakes up, also beginning to cry, and mom comes in and sporadically takes care of infant sorts of things, at least you’re not crying alone. Nothing like growing up.

“We’re twins!” over an Instagram filter and a facial expression. No. You’re just mimics. If you were twins, it wouldn’t need saying.

Where you go, I go,

What you say, I translate.

What you know, I’ll somehow absorb,

At least vicariously, in the concept.

She comes home and uses me as a drawing model, for practice,

Nobody else has earned that right;

Not like that.

I think it’s gross when she drinks straight apple cider vinegar out of the bottle,

But then again,

She thinks it’s gross when I eat spoonfuls of dill pickle relish straight from the jar.

What you own is partially/not really/mostly mine,

Unless it’s the newest copy of Harry Potter,

We’ll leave each other bruises.

I will convince Mom that all she ever wanted (today) is Thai food,

If you be the one to yell at both of our parents.

I will ask for both,

And you will yell for both.

(It’s a pretty good deal)

Our nephew Lincoln figured out pretty early (around 3 years old) that the quickest way to mess with his aunts was to call Lauren “Haley” and Haley “Lauren”;

I’m pretty sure his Dad had a hand in that.

This one time, I fell off a tire sculpture,


All the way down;

A whole four feet.

She laughed at that one for days,

But it was nothing like the time I was car nauseous and randomly puked on myself on the car ride home, after tacos,

The told our friends about that one,

But they only witnessed the first.

How bout all the crap she left out,

Because it would make me cry?

Good call.

My friend Jess always asked why I said

“Twin sister” instead of just “Sister”,

But you guys,

There’s a difference.


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I am a second-grade teacher and pastor-to-be who loves people. I spend my weekends with friends or wandering the museums of DC alone and with a journal, trying to put words on the places of the soul that still feel wordless. I spent most of my days at school trying to learn patience through my students and running on sheer nerdy passion. I follow Jesus Christ, and savor that as my most important identity--that I am a child of God, as are infinite others, regardless of their other identities. Christ is my one thing.

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