My Sister Rachel (Part 2): The Early Days

featured image: my sister and I in the "Buddy Buggy," I'm wearing my infamous bat costume and my sister is covering her ears probably due to sensory overload – this sums up our childhood well

Did you know that a set of female-female twins is called sororal twins? I literally learned that last month from a friend (who is not even a twin!)

I’ve been sorting through all of my memories of my sister, trying to decide which stories would be the best to share. There are too many to share exhaustively on the blog, so I’m trying hard to narrow it down. If there’s a story or a specific question you have that you’d like me to elaborate on, just ask!

All of these stories are taking place back when I was a child or young adult, so at a minimum, I’m writing about events that happened at least 16 years ago. That’s a lot of time for memories to morph and change, not to mention processing an event as a child is WAY different than experiencing an event as an adult.

Some of the stories I share will be funny, crazy, and exciting (some of them were funny only after the fact.) Some stories will be hard to read, sad, and might be triggers for painful experiences you’ve had in your own life. My goal in sharing all this is to offer my unique perspective, and to help my readers develop empathy and compassion for others.

So, here we go:

I guess it makes sense to start near the beginning, back in our younger days. I asked my mom to send me old pictures of my sister and I, and she wanted to be sure she sent me our “very first picture together”:

(Very funny, Mom!)

Probably the earliest back I have clear memories with Rachel would be when we were in preschool. We went to “Side By Side” preschool, which I doubt exists anymore. The whole premise of the school was to integrate children with disabilities and regular-functioning children – obviously my sister and I were a great asset because we added a “plus 1” to each of those categories. Somewhere inside a box at my parent’s house, there’s a newspaper article that was written about the preschool and my sister and I, simply because it was so novel to integrate “regular” kids and “special-needs” kids. (This was back in the 90’s, remember.)

Honestly, I don’t remember interacting very much directly with Rachel at preschool. This was not unusual – much of the time we were doing our own activities side by side (ha! see what I did there!) but not actually together. Rachel did not really play with other kids that I can recall. One of the listed signs of autism includes “inability to play ‘pretend’ games, preferring solo play” and I would say that described Rachel well.

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