Like sweet and sour: Multi-twin families deal with life

October 15, 2010 — by Samika Kumar

A typical Monday morning in the Kingston household is pure chaos.

Sophomore Paige Kingston, ready for school, rushes down the hall to meet and hurry up her twin, freshman Madison Kingston, as the latter finishes breakfast. From another room, the girls catch their mother talking to their fourth-grade brothers as she chooses their clothes for school. The boys’ loud chattering rings throughout the house.

Nonetheless, the only thing on Paige’s mind is whether she will make it to school on time.
A couple of items seem erroneous in this average Monday morning. How can twins Madison and Paige be in different grades? And why do they have more than one brother in fourth grade?

Yet all of it is accurate. The Kingston family consists of two sets of twins, a phenomenon that has a one out of 2,200 chance of happening, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The older twins have been in different grades since they were 7, when Paige jumped from first to second grade.

“I was in first grade until December break. I already knew most of the first-grade material,” Paige said, “so we thought it would be better [for me to skip to second grade].”

Whether this skip influenced Paige and Madison’s personalities, they may never know, but the girls agree they are more different than most twins.

“We’re just completely different people,” said Madison. “We have the same humor, and then everything else is different.”

The girls differ in physical appearance too. Paige, at five feet, four and a half inches, is blonde with light brown eyes. Madison, one and a half inches taller, has dark brown hair and green eyes. As dissimilar as Paige and Madison are, their brothers contrast more, starting with Cole, at four feet, six inches, and his dark brown hair in comparison to Graham’s blonde hair and his three extra inches in height.

Consequently, it would be hard for strangers to think the four Kingston children are related, much less that they’re twins.

“No one would have guessed that we are [two pairs of twins] if we didn’t tell them,” Madison said. “Everybody thinks it’s pretty neat.”

Their mother, Meryl Rains-Kingston, said though having multiple pairs of twins is rare, twins are common in her side of the family.

“There’s a genetic component to that,” she explained, “and we feel very blessed to have the opportunity to raise two sets of twins.”

Mrs. Rains-Kingston admits her twins do not always appreciate their good fortune of a constant friend, but she thinks their good experiences will stick with them in their adult years.

Paige and Madison maintain a close relationship, despite their “contradicting personalities,” according to Paige.

“I help [Madison] at home with her homework and give advice, like do’s and don’t’s,” Paige said.

The twins also dabble in competition against each other.

“We are really competitive in the things we do,” Madison said, “like in daily activities and who can get better grades.”

Soccer is the only common sport that the girls compete over. Both plan to try out for the school team. Madison plays center midfield while Paige is a sweeper on defense.

But at the end of the day, Paige and Madison toss their disagreements and competitiveness out the window. They would never want to resign their twinship and all the memorable experiences they have shared.

“You have a partner in life,” Madison said. “And it’s fun. It’s lots of fun.”

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