My In-laws Are Twelve and There's Nothing Wrong With That

"Ahh, they're being normal," their sister said.

"They're brothers," he cried from the backroom. Dialogue about a video game? It must be the Nintendo GameCube because that's when my littlest in-laws (minus the Shitzu) get along.

Gargly laughter and yelps come from the back room. It sounds like college students, those that live in the male dorms, playing video games on a gray and bored Sunday afternoon (which it just so happens to be). The problem is, the two playing the video game won't be college students for another six or seven years.

They're simply twelve. Well, not simply. They can be a quite complex twelve if they want, but for now, they are simply being twelve. And getting along, because they are twins, and in a normal household, is rare. Although this normal household has Nintendo games of competition which allows their futal, but tantrum-large aggressions toward each other to be fought through dualing controllers with fifteen buttons.

When I talk about my brother and sister-in-law people act interested because it's a story about someone else's family and so they listen to my tales, especially co-workers at my middle school.

Then I tell them, "They're in middle school," and they look at me.

I'm sure they want to ask if I'm married to a teenager, because they give me this you-are-dirty-for-having-twelve-year-old-in-laws look.

"They're twelve?" they ask.

"Don't worry," I respond, "my wife is older than I am."

Then they wonder how old I really am. I wish I could be a Doogie Howser, but I'm not...and my parents didn't sign a legal document that said I could get married. I just-so-happen to have in-laws that will graduate high school when I'm thirty. Or thirty-one.

Pick an age, both sound scary to me right now.

Either way, I'll have family wondering if I will be bald at that point. I'm hoping that I have the luck of the draw like my one uncle and I'll just go gray at fortysomething.

My luck? It will be humid at their graduation and my hair will be even curlier than it is now. Steph will follow me with Frizz-eeze, taming my hair, and I'll watch them cross that stage (looking up from my book, because their graduating class will be 1,000 and I'll be bored waiting for the T's) and wonder, am I acting older like a thiry-year-old should act? Or am I still the same crazy-ass middle school teacher I was when I heard them screaming in the back room while they played video games with each other?