When I fix a salad, my kiddos beg for me to make my balsamic vinaigrette. It’s a good mixture of sweet and tangy, oil and vinegar and several opposing flavors coming together to make the perfect dressing. A good dressing makes the flavors pop in a big salad, all the ingredients complement one another and the salad goes from a good salad to great.
In the salad bar of our family, we have own perfect vinaigrette right here at home, our sweet twinkies, Harper and Judah. Our twinkies are about as opposite as they come. Let’s start off with the boy/girl status. I still love that we are asked, as recently as 2 days ago, this is the scenario.
” Oh my, you have a large family. Are any of them multiples?”
” Yes, we have one set of twins” I reply pointing to Harper and Judah who already have their hands raised and chests and smiles beaming with pride of their twinkie status and the repetitive familiarity of the question.
“Oh, how old are you?” asks the well meaning stranger in Target.
“six” they say in unison. Now visualize this as well, Harper is in a sweet red gingham frock with her curly pigtails tied in ribbon and Judah in denim shorts and red polo, his blond silky straight bowl cut hair all pushed to the side.
“Oh, so they are identical twins?” the stranger asks me.
“Uh.. no, they are fraternal, boy girl twins”. I say, almost embarrassed for the lady that she can’t tell this for herself.
she replies, “well you never know these days with the way kids dress”
As we continue our shopping, I get tickled because other than their immense love and appreciation for one another you’d never call them identical.
Harper, constantly smiley, type A, articulate, organized, a perfectionist, a rule follower, adorer of Brysan, dancer, Judah’s taskmaster and loves pigs so much that she refuses to eat anything that is a pork product for the fear that a nice pig was killed to become bacon. ( we eat a lot of bacon in our house and I use it in a lot of recipes and so Canaan felt bad that Harper was refusing to eat a lot of the dishes due to the bacon. So he let Harper know very matter of fact- that only evil pigs were killed in the making of bacon. They were questioned and tried and only the evil, bad pigs of the world would be turned into bacon. Harper simply said ” have you met these pigs? Are you sure it is a evil pig? I have not met this pig, and someone could have been wrong, so I can not eat this pig” and so she continues to only eat “pig free food ” as she calls it. )
Judah is a carefree spirit, all boy, can eat his weight in cheese dip, passionate, tender hearted, ornery, video or computer game master extraordinaire, lover of giraffes and sayer of crazy things. ( LIke when he got a tick on the top of his crack last summer he came to me and said. ” Mom, I have a pet tick on my butt, his name is dude, wanna meet him?” I didn’t understand so I asked him to repeat and he said again ” Mom, I have a pet tick on my butt and his name is dude wanna see?” and with that pulled down his khaki shorts and spiderman tighty-whities to show me the humongous black tick the size of a pea nestled at the top of his bum crack that he hadn’t mentioned because he knew we’d take it off and kill it. )
As twinkies, they are a united front- they will defend and protect the other one from harm, criticism, glaring eyes, always sharing whatever they have with the other one. You can give them just one of something because they think in twos. You have a piece of bubblegum, their first response is to ask for another one for their twin. And if you only have one, then by instinct they only eat half and the rest goes to the other.
We have a tradition of taking out our birthday kids for their birthday alone for a date with just mom and dad. Last year they went by themselves to separate places. Last week they pleaded to go together, to as Harper said ” the fancy restaurant of Steak and Shake”. They ordered for each other, knowing exactly what the other wants.
Together they are the perfect combination of sweet and salty, oil and vinegar. They make our family better, together they add something that a singleton baby never has. It’s hard to explain, unless you are blessed to have twins yourself. But they are our viniagrette in our big salad.