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The twists and turns of twins

My mother came from a brood of seven which included younger sisters, Jean and Joyce, who were identical twins. She once used them for a 4-H project. She demonstrated a shampoo and set on one and the comb-out on the other.

A picture of the twins with their home perms, which was taken in a dime store photo booth, shows them both smiling and with a twinkle in their eyes that says they will get even later.

Later may have come in high school. Mom and the twins were entered as a trio in a music contest. When it came time to perform, the twins refused to sing. Either the twins had sudden laryngitis, or it was their way of telling Mom to go solo.

Aunt Jean and Aunt Joyce carry a touch of ornery. I don't know if they were born ornery or being twins may have made them ornery, but they are two of the most fun aunts any kid could have.

It is impossible to imagine one without the other because they have always been and continue to be "The Twins!" (To be said with excitement as though a party is about to enter the room.)

Because Jean and Joyce share a powerful bond, when they married and began having children, both of the twins named one of their daughters after the other twin.

Jean named a daughter Joyce, and Joyce named a daughter Jean. So Jean and Joyce are sisters and Jean has a Joyce and Joyce has a Jean.

Aunt Joyce had some health problems recently, but her daughter, Jean, was too overwhelmed to send out e-mail updates, so Joyce, the daughter of Jean and niece of Joyce, sent out e-mails about Joyce and about taking her mother, Jean, to see Joyce and her daughter Jean.

In her e-mails, Joyce, the daughter of Jean, refers to Aunt Joyce, the sister of Jean, as Auntie J. Technically, Auntie J could be Aunt Jean or Aunt Joyce, so you really have to stop and think, was it Aunt Jean or Aunt Joyce who has been ill and is it Aunt Joyce or Aunt Jean who is well?

When I last spoke on the phone with Aunt Jean, who has been well, thank you, I broke the news to her that our daughter and son-in-law are expecting twins. "Identical twin girls!" I chirped.

Aunt Jean's response was enthusiastic and immediate: "Oh, no!" she said.

I had the impression Jean was speaking for Joyce as well, although I have yet to receive an e-mail from Joyce, daughter of Jean, saying she has talked to Jean, daughter of Joyce, and confirmed that Aunt Joyce shares the sentiment of Aunt Jean.

As of now, the twins-to-be have been going by the names on their ultrasounds -- Baby A and Baby B. So far, so good.

Now if Baby A should grow up and have babies and name an offspring Baby B, and Baby B should grow up and have babies and name an offspring after Baby A, it will be an entirely different matter.


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