In their first few weeks of life, we painted their toenails purple and pink so we wouldn't mix them up, but honestly, after a few days, we could all see the slight differences and there was no confusion in our own family. That trend is only magnified years later. Among family, Sarah and Allison are not a matched set; they're two very different eight-year-old members of this family.
But friends and acquaintances often see them as a unit and don't take the time to distinguish one from another. Sometimes that bothers me and sometimes I take it as one of those things that go along with having twins. "Which one are you?" is going to be the question of the week for my girls just as my choice to have a large family means I'm fielding "Don't you know what causes that?" all the time.
In an effort to make it easier for others to tell the twins apart, particularly school friends, we grew out Allison's hair when she turned four years old. She had longer hair than Sarah and then had no bangs while Sarah had bangs for the last four years of her life. I'd tell people to remember "S" for short hair and it seemed to help.
Recently, things have changed, though, and Allison has been asking to have a haircut that matches Sarah's. Sarah, too, was caught up in the idea of the fun it would be to REALLY look alike and she's been begging me for the same haircut as Allison's.
So, probably to the annoyance of our neighbors and the girls' teachers and friends, when our friend Debi came to do haircuts yesterday, it was identical cuts. The girls are in separate classes for their third grade year but more than that, I feel they are old enough to choose how they want their hair.
They were delighted with the results. They also asked me if they can switch classes and see if the teacher notices and I won't tell you what answer I gave them. I hope they do have fun with the new haircuts and feel the delight of being mistaken for one another. After all, if you're lucky enough to have an identical twin, why not have some fun with it?