The Wantagh class of 2017 has 282 students. That includes 11 sets of twins, one set of triplets, and one set of quadruplets – my siblings and I, the Goldricks.
Among my siblings, I’m the oldest, one minute older than my sister Katie, two minutes older than Lizzy and three minutes older than our brother Will.
When we are all together meeting new people we get the same reaction every time. First people will ask if we are siblings. Next they will look at my two sisters and say, “Are you two twins?”
To that one of us will respond that we are quadruplets. “Oh, so two sets of twins?” comes the common, confused reply. We say no, it’s like twins, but instead of two at once it’s four and sometimes there is still confusion. People are just not used to seeing quadruplets.
“I’ve always been amazed at the Goldrick’s unique personalities,” said our good friend and fellow WHS senior Gillian Groom. “You are so similar, yet at the same time I’ve watched you develop completely different likes, dislikes and opinions since second grade.”
There are some logistical differences between raising quadruplets and raising multiple singletons. Our parents pushed us in a quad stroller. That unique device was given to us from a family with multiples and passed along by our parents to another set of quads. We also have a camper on the side of our house that has four bunk beds.
Being a quad leads to unique experiences. When we were very young, my parents, siblings and I were driving through the Pennsylvania countryside on our way to Dutch Wonderland. We were in Amish country and we started screaming out the window at the Amish, “Hey buggy people.” A car started to follow us. My parents became nervous. The people in the car were honking at us. Then they sped up next to us and rolled down the window and screamed, “We have quads, too.”
We pulled over and our parents and the other quad parents compared quad experiences.
We can appreciate how difficult it was for our parents. They went through 40 diapers a day. We were all color coded with each of us wearing a different color. When we went to elementary school our parents made sure to separate us so we would be in different classes. They felt that separating us would help to make sure we could succeed in academics and social situations independent of each other.
One fun experience I gained from being a multiple was group birthday parties. We’ve always celebrated together. When we were younger the parties were at places like Bounce and lazer tag. We would have around 30-40 guests at our house. Our Sweet Sixteen was the best of these parties. My sisters and I shared our Sweet Sixteen and had to discuss and compromise with each other on the decorations, the guest list, the court. My brother was also involved in the planning, but it was his birthday party.
Today we are 17 and will turn 18, appropriately enough, on November 4. People will always ask us, “What is it like to be quadruplets?” We will say it’s like having a friend down the hall. To us, it’s not novel. We are used to it and we don’t really think about it.
As for college next year we didn’t care if we went together. Our college decisions came down to prioritizing what was important and what was best for each of us. Starting in the 10th grade all of our vacations became college-based. Collectively four of us visited about 30 colleges. It was a lot of work for our parents. We sent out quite a few applications.
In the fall l will attend St. John’s University; Katie will be going to George Washington University; Lizzie picked University at Buffalo; and Will is going SUNY Maritime. All four of us worked hard in school and earned academic scholarships to help our parents defray the cost of sending us all to college.
The end of this school year marks a shift in our relationship, the progress of our collective memory will end and we all go our separate ways. The four of us have shared our lives. There was always someone I could turn to and say “Hey do you remember…” and they would know exactly what I was talking about. This summer they are all leaving June 13 to go to go work at a sleepaway camp in Connecticut and I will be staying home.
It’s new, almost sad. I’m excited for college but I’m going to miss my siblings.