Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Sweet Sixteen: Happy Birthday To My Twin Daughters.

Memories and time often seem to stretch and blend until we may remember specific moments of our lives with clarity.  On occasion we can look back with hindsight and know exactly where we were on a certain day but often we can’t name the day, sometimes not even the year.

 That’s not true today – sixteen years ago I know exactly where I spent February 28.  In 1996 on this day, I was getting acquainted with two very special young ladies.  Even though we’d just formally met that evening, I knew them in a very familiar way and possessed a very strong connection to both.  From the moment I laid eyes upon them and held them in my arms, swaddled in blankets, I knew this would be a lifelong love.

 Today my twin daughters, Emily and Megan, celebrate their 16th birthday.  When I look at the amazing young women, I still see the infants I brought home from Freeman Hospital, the toddlers who amazed and encouraged me, the children who delighted me, but now I also can catch glimpses of the women they are well on their way to becoming.  Sixteen years may seem like a long time – to my daughters, a lifetime, but it’s been a fast ride thus far.

 Some days it doesn’t seem possible we’ve moved beyond dolls and toys and trikes to cell phones and computers and Ipods.  On occasion, it doesn’t seem so very long ago I was sixteen in a very different world, archaic according to my teens compared to theirs.

 When I was sixteen, we had one telephone, a black rotary model provided by Ma Bell which hung near the back door.  If I wanted privacy, I stretched the long pig tail cord out so I could sit on the back steps while talking to my friends.  In summer weather, it wasn’t bad – except for the fact I worried my family might overhear me through the open screen windows (no air conditioning) but in winter, it could be rather chilly.  Our basic television offered us a choice of the three local channels – sometimes.   Going to the movies meant a trip down to the Orpheum on Friday night, not a trip to a glittering movie palace with multiple movies tucked behind the mall where the snacks cost three or four times what our movie tickets cost back in the day.

 If I wanted to talk to my friends outside of school, I either called them on the old rotary dial phone or if they lived in the neighborhood, I went over to their house or they came to mine.  The very notion of a personal phone tucked into the pocket of my jeans was sci-fi and fantasy.  Headphones for my stereo – which included a turntable on which I played vinyl records – were a big deal and no one, at least in my world, ever thought about something like an Ipod.

 Sixteen years.  It’s hard to imagine what can take place in sixteen years.  When my daughters were born, both of their grandfathers were alive and proud of their newborn twin granddaughters.  My girls were fortunate enough to have two living great-grandmothers at birth, both of which sent gifts and love over the miles.  When Emily and Megan were born, our family lived in the hills out above Shoal Creek surrounded by the woods.  Now we live on the west side of Neosho in what I like to say passes as suburbs in a small town.  Sixteen years ago the idea of my babies starting school seemed distant but now college and adulthood loom straight ahead.

 Happy birthday one more time for my twins, Emily and Megan because sweet sixteen comes just once in a lifetime – enjoy, my girls, enjoy!
To celebrate my daughters' birthday, leave me a comment about birthdays, sweet sixteen, twins, or anything related and I'll be giving away the winner's choice of any of my titles! Be sure to include your email address so I can get in touch with the winner!


  1. WOW!! Happy Birthday Emily and Megan!! What a wonderful time to be 16!! Did you put out the warning signs to all the other drivers?
    I do remember having the rotary phone, and the long piggy tail cord that kept getting tangled. It seems so long ago!
    Congrats to the girls! Enjoy this time :)

  2. Happy Birthday! I hope you have a great 16th.

    tammy ramey


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