I can't seem to wrap my mind around the fact that it has been 20 years since our identical twin daughters came into this world. Even though they were almost 2 months early, they have made themselves known since day one. Those 2 months of having them in the NICU were scary, but it showed me how strong these two little girls were, and I knew that strength would take them far.
Even from the beginning, the differences between them were very apparent.
Ashley is a sweet caring young lady, who has a sharp wit and a sarcastic type of sense of humor that just cracks me up. She's always been silly and never worries about what others think of her. She is very creative and a "color outside the lines" kind of girl.
She is head strong and determined, and loves so deeply. She has a magnetic personality and she loves spending time with the very young, all the way through to the elderly patients she works with.
Chelsea is more reserved, shy (until she knows you well), follow the rules, and is a "I want to do what I'm supposed to do" kind of a girl. However, when around those she feels very comfortable with, she can be as silly as her sister can. She has a deep love for animals and young children.
She is also extremely stubborn. If we had a debate team at our school, I have no doubt she would have been the captain. But that strong will has given her the determination to not fall to peer pressure (which is not an easy thing to do at a large university).
When they were little they loved bows in their hair - the bigger the better. To this day their teachers even remember that. They also went through a phase where they would only wear dresses, and then a much longer phase where dresses were "gross".
Being in a small community, they were very well known and very well liked. They were also often compared, or referred to as "the twins", which caused a lot of struggles for their own identities when their teen years hit. Oh the arguing and fighting those two did. I used to cry because I'd hear of other twins who were very close and loved doing things together, and yet mine appeared to hate each other.
I didn't need to worry. When they went off to different colleges they grew to realize how lucky they were to have that someone who has been with them literally since day one. Someone who shares that special unique bond that only twins can share. Someone who didn't judge them, or expect them to be a certain way. Some who would let them be different...and yet alike.
As a mom, I couldn't be more proud of my daughters. When they used to ask why they were twins, I would tell them "God made you as one little baby girl, but there was so much goodness, love, and special qualities about you that it didn't all fit into one little body, so he decided to share it all between two beautiful little girls".
And in my opinion, he got it just right.
Happy 20th birthday Ashley & Chelsea. You're all grown up now, but to me you'll always be my little girls, and you have my heart. I love you!