On their last day of school, the contingent of triplets and twins in the Gig Harbor High School senior class came into a meeting room in a steady flood, eventually packing it to a standing-room-only situation.
For many, it was the first time they saw the multiples all gathered together.
Thirteen sets of twins and two sets of triplets graduated from Gig Harbor High School on Sunday. That’s a grand total of 32 students.
Some are identical and some are fraternal; some enroll in the same classes and some split up; some are going to college together and some aren’t. Sunday, they all shared the Tacoma Dome stage together.
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The siblings have gone to school together since kindergarten, so they’ve been through each and every step of the way together. There have been benefits to having a sibling classmate.
“It’s fun being able to work on homework or grade papers or do something with or for you,” Rachel Bradley said of her twin, Taeler.
As Emily Sutton reiterated, you always have a friend in your sibling classmate. Emily is part of a trio with fellow triplets Grant and Lauren.
But being a triplet can bring an added layer to the sibling relationship, said John Gilbert, brother to Anne and Katie.
“Being a triplet, it’s a different experience,” he said. “It holds you to a higher standard. It’s almost a competition.”
But do they all feel that competition? Not really.
“Our parents always worked really hard to make sure we weren’t paired together. For us, it wasn’t a battle of the wills,” said Paige Ketcham, who has a counterpart in brother Grayson.
Some of the twins and triplets have worked hard to express individuality by taking separate classes, extracurricular activities and playing separate sports. Others teamed up with their sibling for high school hijinks. Emily and Lauren Sutton admit they’ve swapped classes without being noticed.
Now, life after high school begins. Some will still be classmates and some will be splitting up.
Identical twins Ben and Dan Lively will both be attending the University of Portland in the fall, but they won’t room together.
“We tried to make it our own individual decision,” Dan said.
“... but it just didn’t seem as fun (to split colleges),” added Ben.