Ragtag bunch of castoffs, err, misfits

Much has been written about being a twin. There are entire sub-branches of several scientific disciplines devoted to twin studies. Books about twins. Movies about twins.

But nothing at all about being the brother of twins.

My little brothers Steve and Johnny are now 29 years old. They will be 30 years old in October, a scant 4 days after wee Oliver turns 2. Their collective has gone through several namings: when they were born we called them “the babies.” Later it was “the twins.” And finally they have settled in to being “my little brothers.” They will be my little brothers even when I am 66 and they are 60.

There is, in addition, a complex scheme having to do with “brother” and “brothers.” When I refer to “my brother,” I mean my brother Mike, 1-1/2 years my junior (and without website to link to, alas). When I refer to my brothers, it is to Johnny, Steve and Mike. When I want to talk about Johnny or Steve individually, they always get the “my brother Johnny” or “my brother Steve.” Catherine will never understand this system.

In any case, for all of you twin researcher readers, please refer to this article (on Steve’s website) and this article (on Johnny’s website). They were written completely independently of each other. Johnny and Steve live in different cities, thousands of miles apart.

It is my role, as big brother of twins, to point these things out.


Ann's picture
Ann on February 1, 2002 - 13:46 Permalink

I am the big sister of twins, so I know from whence you speak. In our family, the twins are referred to as “the boys”, despite their advanced age(s). I guess that wouldn’t work in your family. The situation is further complicated in our family by the fact that I look almost exactly like my brother Doug…and my brother David doesn’t look like anyone (well, except for Pete Townsend, for whom he is often confused). And, to add fuel to the fire, I live with a man called David, which makes things confusing at Christmas… David M. gets the presents that were meant for David T. — and vice versa.

Oliver's picture
Oliver on February 2, 2002 - 08:13 Permalink

It’s obvious why there are no studies of the brothers of twins: You would have no experimental control unless the brother was himself the twin of another who was being raised in the adjoining duplex by his parent’s twins along with a third twin who had been seperated from the others at birth and lived secretly as a ‘singlet” with the control brother. That kind of thing is very rare, even in Sweden.