Superheroes are saving the day in Twinsburg, Ohio, this weekend for the 37th annual Twins Days Festival, August 3-5. The festival’s superhero theme has many twins stretching their imagination to the limit.
Kristi French is the mother of twins and volunteers her time to help plan and execute the three-day festival, billed as the city’s largest gathering of twins, triplets and multiples in the world.
French was already a singleton–the mom of one baby [18-month old]–when she went to the doctor and got a double surprise. “I found out I was having twins at three months during my OB/GYN appointment and was shocked,” French recalled.
Turns out, there was a history of twins in the family. “The only twins I knew about were my great-grandma’s, on my mom’s side. She had identical and fraternal twins. I never thought I would have twins. What a surprise!”
That surprising news caused immediate double thinking. “We soon found ourselves shopping to buy a second crib, stroller, high chair, etc. We were very overwhelmed, but excited.”
“Mike and Dan were born 10 minutes apart, healthy as could be! When I arrived home, I had help from my family and my husband’s family for the first month. Thank heavens, because I was exhausted. Looking back, I’m glad I took so many pictures because the first year is a blur now.”
Mike and Dan as infants and growing up
As they grew up they were and are extremely close. One time when Dan was about nine- months old, got hurt in one room of the house and Mike actually started screaming and crying in another room of the house. It was like Mike felt Dan’s pain.
Since Mike and Dan are identical twins, mom says she had a hard time telling them apart. When Mike was a few months old, a freckle appeared on his back and we thought, GREAT, now we can really tell them apart. Within a few hours, the same freckle in the exact same spot appeared on Dan’s back.
When a natural remedy as a freckle doesn’t work, why not try a man-made one. “We actually painted Dan’s toenails blue.”
Comments from people
Going out when they were little, we did get a lot of attention. Some of the funny comments we often heard:
- Are they twins? No, they just look alike.
- Are they fraternal? No, don’t they look alike to you?
- How do you tell them apart? Our comment back to be funny–by their name.
- I’m glad they’re yours and not mine. Our comment back–so am I.
French says she always made sure she would introduce her older son Matt and tell everyone what a great big brother he was and still is.
First year as a parent of twins and a singleton
The first year was very challenging with the constant feedings, the thousands of diaper changes, lack of sleep, and the mounds of laundry. But as they got older, I realized what a blessing it is to have twins. They always have a playmate, a partner in crime, homework helper, and their biggest fan right beside them. It’s twice the love for a parent.
Watching them interact with one another
When they were babies one would start to giggle and the other one would instantly giggle too. Mike and Dan have played soccer since they were three. When they are on the field, it seems like they can read each other’s mind and know exactly where they need to be to receive a pass from their brother. They do the same thing in basketball. It is fun to watch.
Volunteering for Twins Days
Mom French has volunteered on the Twins Days committee for 11 years. Mike and Dan have been coming to the Twins Days Festival since they were 4 months old, making this their 13 festival. They are now 12 years old.
The twins also volunteer every year with the Relay for Life and for Twins Days. At Twins Days, they help with the parade, souvenir booth, information booth, setting up and even tearing down. In 2011, they were honored to be on the Twins Days Royal Court.
The first Twins Days Festival was in 1976.