South quadruplets strive ‘four’ individualism

Shea Anthony, asst. features

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South quadruplets strive ‘four’ individualism

When Joyce Hennelly’s kids were young, she brought them over to a friend’s house for a playdate. They shuffled into the house like ducklings, following their mother in a single-file line. Once they got inside, they were surprised to find only one kid waiting to play with them. “Where are the other three?” they curiously wondered.

Freshmen John, Grace, Holly and Quinn Hennelly are not only siblings; they’re quadruplets.

“Being a quadruplet is normal to me,” Holly said. “It’s all I’ve ever known.”

According to Joyce, having quadruplets was a surprise to both her and her husband.

“I would have never known I was going to have quadruplets, never saw myself with quadruplets,” Joyce said. “It has obviously been our greatest joy.”

John says that he feels very fortunate to be a quadruplet because it’s a rare occurrence.

Holly has similar thoughts.

“I never get bored or lonely,” Holly said.

Though being a quadruplet has its benefits, according to Grace, it also has its downsides.

“The one thing that is annoying with being a quadruplet is that people tend to compare you with your siblings,” Grace said.

According to Quinn, his looks and John’s looks are compared on a regular basis.

“I’m not sure how the girls get compared but I would like some individualism,” Quinn said.

Joyce is also aware of her kids’ struggle for individuality. She knows that they are compared and labeled,  so she tries to protect them from it. In addition, scheduling is another issue that Joyce faces.

“Scheduling is a nightmare,” Joyce said. “It’s like four kids in four different places. I have to remind myself it’s only like this for a few more years so I don’t get so crazed about it.”

According to John, the kids are aware of their hectic schedules and try to help out as much as possible.

“We all have pretty crazy schedules,” John said. “I carpool, which makes it a little easier.”

According to Holly, her mom had help, especially when they were younger.

“When we were little, my parents’ family helped out every day and my mom’s girlfriends and their moms [helped] too,” Holly said. “One of my friend’s moms did our entire laundry for one year when we were first born.”

With a lot of kids comes a lot of memories. Joyce recounts an incident that occurred while driving.

“We passed a preschool class and John goes, ‘Look at how many [kids] she has, Mommy!’ They just assumed kids came in multiples,” Joyce said.

According to Grace, the quadruplets also have memories from their childhood.

“One time, when we were three, we went to the beach and when we were swimming, a little girl stole my sand bucket,” Grace said. “My mom told us to go get it and so we all walked over to the little girl, holding hands for moral support, and got the bucket. The girl must have been terrified.”

According to Joyce, parenting the quadruplets has been a positive experience.

“It’s unique and it’s fun,” Joyce said. “It’s exciting and it’s challenging. The love is four-fold. [We] feel very, very blessed and lucky.”

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