today: the twins at fifteen (but i thought it was fourteen all day)

“Most of the basic material a writer works with is acquired before the age fifteen.
-Willa Sibert Cather

The above quote is especially true for kids in my family. Yesterday the twins turned fifteen.

4641_87540932169_515837169_1784230_1176392_n

They live at opposite ends of the family personality spectrum. They live on opposite sides of the family looks department. And yet they are the sole set of twins in our baker’s dozen assortment of siblings.

4641_87540887169_515837169_1784222_6718249_n

Zeke sent me a letter when I lived in Toronto. He must have been about eight.

“Dear Erin,” it read, “today was a good day. Could have been worse. Glad it wasn’t. Love, Zeke.” He drew a picture of a little boy and some animals above the letter. It hung on my wall in my office in Toronto. It lives in a shoebox of memories now, and it so captures who Zeke is: optimistic as all get out, always able to find the bright side. He is the huggiest of us all, eager to hear how your day went, slow to feel the need to fill his time with busyness.

4641_87540892169_515837169_1784223_3890705_n

All in all, Zeke is a great kid. He loves the violin, excels in school.

n515837169_1784224_1756480

Zak accompanied me on the first trip I took to Mexico. He was eleven. I have photos of his eleven-year-old self standing beside me at the beach in Mazatlan. He was the only kid on the team, and he trail-blazed the way for every trip that followed to be kid inclusive.

Zak engages. He’s witty, creative and smart. He knows how to hold the attention of a room. Natural leadership sits on his shoulders. He wears it well when he wants to.

All in all, Zak is a great kid. He plays the piano and guitar as well as anyone in our family and writes a great story… and he looks just like me.

4641_87540902169_515837169_1784225_5553387_n

The twins turned fifteen yesterday, and I look at them and see them standing on the verge of manhood. They’ve hit that life stage where their choices seem more defining. I see in each of them grace and hope and wonder. It’s hard to believe they’ll be driving next year…

My dad used to tuck the little boys in by saying, “I like you and I love you and God put greatness in you.” I believe that for these two.

Love you up to the sky and back, Zeke and Zak. Happy birthday. Can’t wait to see how that greatness continues to emerge…

n515837169_1784229_8074942

Advertisements

4 responses to “today: the twins at fifteen (but i thought it was fourteen all day)

  1. aww. me too. if sibling adoption were a thing, i would so big sister them. cause thats what they need. more big sistering.

  2. Not used; to still do but they are not little boys any more. They stay up later than me. Jake & Jono still get the “love, like, greatness” most nights.

  3. awwww. why do they have hair on their legs?

  4. I love what your dad says to them.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s