December 6th, 2012
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Happy Birthday Sheila!
Today is my sister Sheila’s birthday so for the next month we will be the same age.
How can we be the same age for a month?
We are Irish twins.
I was born in January and she was born in December of the same year.  Busy parents, yes?  Irish twins are defined as a pair of siblings born within 12 to 16 months of each other. When we were young children, our mother would dress us alike as though we were twins and we have lots of pictures from holidays in the same dresses and coats.  I must say that my sister Sheila is better at pulling herself together, even as a child, so she usually looked better in her outfits.
I think the term “Irish twins” came to be because the majority of Irish are Catholic and the Catholic Church doesn’t support the practice of birth control even though it does support the practice of the “rhythm method.”  I come from a family of six children (I am the oldest) and during my childhood a family of six or more children was not unusual.
If you aren’t familiar with the “rhythm method,” here’s an old joke that should tell you a lot about its effectiveness:  Do you know what they call people who practice the rhythm method?
Parents! Ba Dump Bump.
Anyway, back to my sister.  We have had our ups and downs, as most sisters do, but we have a lot of great memories from our childhood and as adults, getting married and raising our children.  Having a sister so close in age means that we were always together; especially when my mother would take us shopping.
One time when we about 4 or 5 years old, we were shopping with our mother and we started playing hide and seek behind the rounds of clothes.  Our mother must have been really been preoccupied with something else because usually she would blow a gasket if we got away from her.
We were small enough to stand behind the coats and we thought no one could see us.  We must of played this game for only a few minutes when I thought we were lost in the store.  Our mother was only one aisle over from us but I couldn’t see her.  I think I sat on the floor and started to cry and then I told my sister Sheila that we were in big trouble because we lost our mother.  I completely fell apart.
What happened next was a complete role reversal in our relationship and something that made me feel closer to her: Sheila stayed calm and comforted me and told me that everything would be all right, that we would find our mother and I shouldn’t cry.
And she was right.  Our mother says she knew where we were the whole time and she was keeping an eye on us and thought it was funny.
Lots of love and Happy Birthday to my Irish twin sister Sheila!
Here’s to making many more great memories together!!
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