Estacada twins and triplets stay bonded while forging unique identities as they grow up

ESTACADA NEWS PHOTO: EMILY LINDSTRAND - Twins Trey and Ava Shibahara are in sixth grade at Estacada Middle School.

During a game of Pictionary, Gabriel and Caleb Brotnov were able to communicate almost effortlessly.

Gabriel was planning to draw a ketchup bottle and had only drawn a circle when his twin brother Caleb correctly guessed his plan.

"We've been together so much, and we know how each other's brains work," Caleb said.

Though it might not be surprising that multiple siblings understand each other well, many twins and triplets in Estacada are creating their own identities while maintaining close relationships.

"We like spending time together," Caleb said. "But we also have our own time with friends."

Loggan, Tayson and Benson Trujillo

Although River Mill Elementary School fifth graders Loggan, Tayson and Benson Trujillo are triplets, they're always surprised when they get confused for one another.

"We look nothing alike," Benson said.

The trio enjoys being triplets because "you can be different and the same." ESTACADA NEWS PHOTO: EMILY LINDSTRAND - Triplets Loggan, Tayson and Benson Trujillo are in fifth grade at River Mill Elementary School.

"You don't have to do the same things as your brothers, because you don't always like the same stuff, even though you were born on the same day," Loggan explained.

Loggan, Tayson and Benson were born 30 seconds apart. They also have a younger brother and a younger sister.

"(Being a triplet is different) because everyone gets you confused more often and you have to share more stuff," Benson said.

The triplets enjoy hobbies like dirt bike riding, horseback riding, building with Legos and like spending time both together and apart.

They're in the same fifth grade class at River Mill, which they like because they can help one another with schoolwork.

They also enjoy spending time together outside of the classroom.

"(The best part of being a triplet is) you have people to play with and they like more of the same things as you do because they're more your age," Loggan said.

Trey and Ava Shibahara

Trey and Ava Shibahara are good at communicating with each other — even while they aren't awake.

"Throughout our lives, we've sleep talked," explained Ava, who is in sixth grade at Estacada Middle School with Trey, her twin brother. "Our (older) brother wakes up and hears us mumbling to each other."

The pair describes being twins as "annoying, but cool."

"You always have someone to talk to in your household that you trust," said Ava. "It's annoying because if one of us gets in trouble, we always blame the other."

Though they're twins, Ava and Trey have different personalities.

"She's more interactive, and I'm more shy," Trey said. "We have opposite emotions. If she's grumpy, I'll feel helpful."

The pair enjoys spending time with one another.

"Sometimes we play tag at recess," Ava said. "Trey loves it when I play Nintendo Switch with him. I like playing board games and Just Dance, and we both like playing with our dogs. It's fun because when Trey has a friend over, I can bond with them, because we're all friends at school."

They also enjoy playing the piano.

"We love to do songs together," Ava said. "We did one for the talent show in fifth grade."

Though they enjoy spending time together, one of their earliest memories is of being apart.

"On the first day of kindergarten, he went off to do his own thing, and I didn't talk to (him) the whole day," Ava said.

Being in school over the years has encouraged them to become their own individuals.

"School taught us how to be more independent," Trey said.

He added that the best part of having a twin is that "it feels like you have a friend throughout all your life."

Gabriel and Caleb Brotnov

Although they're twins, Estacada High School seniors Gabriel and Caleb have carved out their own identities.

"We're completely opposites, so there's no competition," Caleb said. "It's not a struggle to see which one of us is better at which sport. He's better at video games and reading. We've gotten used to the fact that that's the case."

Though they were sometimes confused for one another when they were younger, and still occasionally are, "We've grown and become our own individuals," Caleb noted.

Being twins has allowed Gabriel and Caleb to form a close relationship.

"You have the same life experiences as one another, so there are a lot less arguments than with other siblings," Gabriel said. "(If we weren't twins) we ESTACADA NEWS PHOTO: EMILY LINDSTRAND - Twins Gabriel and Caleb Brotnov are seniors at Estacada High School.probably would have a different relationship. We wouldn't have been around each other as much to build a close relationship."

After graduating from Estacada High School, the pair has different goals: Gabriel plans join the U.S. Army, and Caleb plans attend school to become a firefighter.

"Most people expect us to be together 24/7," said Gabriel, noting that some are surprised at their differences in interests and future plans.

Though the two are different from one another in many ways, they enjoy going hunting together.

"(The best part of being a twin is) having somebody that understands you," Caleb said. "You know who they are really well."

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