I am a quartet and the only woman among my brothers. My life was a balance of having to be close to my siblings to be alone.


Jessica Ellis and her brother

Jessica Ellis

  • I’m a quartet and have three siblings.

  • I went back and forth between wanting to be an individual and wanting to miss being with my brother.

  • Being the only girl with quadriceps first gave me some personality.

It has always been a very simple icebreaker. Three words: I’m a quadruplet..

Use the big reactions and questions about growing up with your three brothers as clues. To clarify: No, I can’t read their minds, and I don’t feel it when they hurt themselves. You will be amazed at how often I get those questions.

It’s been a long time since I’ve been talking about it, so it’s easy to forget that I’m unique in that respect.Then, “Wow, you are First quartet I have met! ” rare..

The sense of difference was always blatantly obvious on our birthdays. Growing up, we had one cake with colored candles to show which corner was ours. My brother was always one step ahead of me, and the candles were gone before I could breathe.

And finally it happened. At college, I got my cake with my candles, but I didn’t like it. I felt very strange. But there is always this innate contrast between wanting space and needing space nearby.

Being the only girl gave me some personality

For years I was grateful that I was able to hide behind the “Girl Quad” label. It’s easy, safe, and may be a little invisible within the group.

But then I left home, and no one knew I was a quadruple. At first, I had to learn to stop saying “us” and start saying “me”. I never forget that one day someone asked me, “Who are we and why are you saying that?” I didn’t want others to think that my fictitious friends and voices were in my head, so I stopped quite early. But that still happens sometimes when I’m not paying attention.

When it came to carving out my identity, there was one thing my brothers didn’t have. It was just a girl for me. Sport was my blessing of salvation. I had softball, and my siblings played their respective sports (which made our parents’ schedule even busier).

That was all I needed to feel separated. That was me. As I grew older, as my identity evolved, more things became individualized. I’m a licensed professional counselor, wife, stepmother, and mother, but the “Girl Quad” label is always there.

Recently, when I became the mother of a little girl, I realized that I was thinking about the label again. I’m really wondering how my mother did it.

When I stop and think about my childhood, I think I can always play with someone, even if the competition is fierce. That support hasn’t disappeared and I’m now playing date with my kids. I appreciate it very much.

Also, I was very excited that my brothers blew my candles this year. It took 33 years, but my dream really came true.

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