Beware. I have teenagers now.

Well, okay. I’ve had a teenager for 3-plus years now, but as of today, I have nothing but teenagers in the under-18 subgroup in the household.

Hannah and Zoe are 13 today.

Sometimes it doesn’t seem possible that they’re that old yet. And other times, they get that serious look on their face, and something comes out of their mouths that sounds entirely too grown up to mesh with my preconceived notion of who they are.

It’s been a fun 13 years, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Having twins has been a huge adventure, and has provided endless fascination. Every single day they seem to grow more diverse, further establishing themselves as very distinct, different, individual people, which is something that a lot of people, including me, have a hard time wrapping their heads around.

Hannah and Zoe are indeed two different people, but it’s the nature of being twins that they’ve always been coupled as one unit. All too frequently, they’re “the girls,” or “HannahandZoe” (said in one breath), or “you two,” or…

It’s something I’ve given a lot of thought to, especially lately, as it’s becoming so blatantly obvious that they’re completely diverse beings. But it’s hard not to refer to them in any way other than the communal titles listed above. I want to make sure they’re treated as individuals, and I fear that they won’t be, but then, on days like today, when I think about it very deeply, I realize they are distinct and unique, and everyone around them knows each of them as the individuals they are.

But I’m now the proud parent–and I mean proud–of a pair of teenage girls. They’re witty, smart, creative, fun, and every bit the unique person I hoped I’d raise.

Happy birthday to them. I’m looking forward to watching them grow even further into the people they want to be.

Now I can move on to screwing them up through the rest of their teen years.

See you tomorrow.