Monday, August 12, 2013

Big Families and Birthday Twins

When you're part of a big family, one of the few things that is all yours is your birthday.  My Mom always made our birthdays special, not an easy task when you are the mother of eight kids born over 19 years' time.

As the second half of our family began to have kids, a strange phenomenon began taking place.  Many of the second wave of babies in our big family shared birthdays with older cousins, aunts or uncles.

I'm sure that our family isn't the only big family with sets of twins born on the same date, but years apart.  In addition to the birthday twins, we also have a set of birthday triplets.

In all, our family contains six sets of birthday twins and one set of birthday triplets.  One branch of the family is far ahead in the birthday twin game. 

My youngest brother Pat and I are separated by almost five years.  When we were kids, I was Pat's tormentor.  In today's world, I'd be considered a bully.  Back in the 60s, I was just an ordinary older sister.

Although I loved Pat as I do all of my siblings, I guess I had to show my superiority over him.  Pat made it through those years and grew from being a tormented little brother to a husband, dad, son and brother we all admire and respect.

Pat and his wife Denise are parents to five kids.  Three of the kids share a birthday with another member of the family.  Their oldest son Zach shares a birthday with my younger daughter.

Denise shares a birthday with their second son, Tom.  Pat shares a birthday with their younger daughter, Katie.  Pat was born on August 12, 1962.  Katie was born August 12, 2005. 

I got married and moved across the country from Pat when he was almost 13.  Because we live far away, I've not shared in many of Pat's birthday celebrations.

When I visit my parents and siblings in the Midwest, I always stay at Pat's house.  Their house is big enough to provide space for family, friends and many gatherings.

Pat and Denise are great hosts, always welcoming family members into their fold.  Kids double up in bedrooms to make space and everyone pitches in together to make meals and memories.

As Pat and Katie celebrate their birthday today, here's a happy birthday wish to my baby brother and his baby girl.  I'm sorry I can't be there to celebrate with you, but know that I'm with you in spirit.

Big families are a blessing.  Birthday twins is just one of the things I love about being part of a big family.  I'm grateful that my parents had a big family and that several of us did the same.

Although I'll miss spending the day with Pat and Katie, I know I'll see all of my big family again soon.  

Until then, I'll take what I can get when I can get it and do the best I can to face each day with a smile on my face, a prayer on my lips and a song in my heart.  Blogging Grandma Sandy signing off for now.

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