These twins share many things.But Ashley and Ryan Butterworth don't share a birthday.
Ashley, the eldest, was born at 11:59 p.m., Jan. 10, 2001. Her brother followed four minutes later on Jan. 11.
"That's exactly what I didn't want, twins with two different birthdays," said their mother, Marcy Butterworth of Pasco. Mother Nature had other plans.
In the 10 years since the twins' birth, Marcy and her husband, Austin, have worked hard to make the twins' birthdays individual.
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"We try to make each day special so that Ryan's is not a repeat of Ashley's. We don't want Ryan to feel like the caboose," she said.
Like the Butterworths' other three children, each gets to choose what's for breakfast. Ashley opted for French toast, Ryan a ham and cheese omelet. They get balloon bouquets, snacks for their classes and their own cakes.
This year Ashley chose an ice cream mud pie instead of cake and Ryan opted for cherry pie.
"They're totally separate kids with their own identity," Marcy said. "They have their own friends and are in separate classes at Ruth Livingston (Elementary School)."
The twins and their parents have had a lot of practice in explaining how two children born minutes apart have separate birthdays.
"I remember when I dropped off their kindergarten registration papers, the school secretary called a few days later. She said I'd made a mistake on their birthdays and wanted to know which date, Jan. 10 or 11, was correct," Marcy said. "I told her both were right."
Ryan said almost sharing a birthday with his sister is "kind of weird."
"I have to always explain it to people," he said Monday. "Just today a girl in my class and some of my teachers asked me about it. If I was twins with Ashley, why are our birthdays different?"
Ashley and Ryan aren't the only twins on Marcy's side of the family to be born on different days.
There's another set, children of Marcy's mother's cousin who were born on opposite sides of midnight too. And they're not the only twins in the family.
"In five generations of my family, there are six sets of twins, all fraternal and none involving any fertility drugs," she said.
Monday evening the Butterworths gathered at the home of the twins' grandparents, Eric and Laurie Butterworth of Kennewick, to sing the familiar chorus of Happy Birthday, twice.
"We don't sing 'Happy Birthday Ashley and Ryan.' They each get their own Happy Birthday song," Marcy said.
w Loretto J. Hulse: 582-1513; firstname.lastname@example.org