Triplets often are thought of as a unit rather than three individuals with names of their own. As in “How are the triplets doing?” “Are the triplets coming to the party?” “Those triplets are so adorable.”
That’s been the case since Jack Evans’s triplets were born on November 18, 1996. They were three bundles of joy who seemed to resemble their mother, Noel. They were the kids on the Christmas card with Kayla the golden retriever and Mom and Dad, the DC councilmember who wanted to be mayor.
They were the kids framed in the tragedy of Noel’s struggle with breast cancer. She died on September 12, 2003.
Now the Evans triplets are coming into their own, defined by what they do and read and imagine.
Katherine, the eldest by minutes, is studious but hardly boring. “She always makes me laugh,” says her sister, Christine.
John, the middle child, is sensitive and artistic. “He has a good smile,” Katherine says. “He’s always curious,” says Christine.
Christine, the baby, is the athlete, already a little reckless. “She’s plain silly,” says John. “A tomboy.”
The triplets are 11. They are doing well. Life with Dad in their Georgetown rowhouse seems pretty normal.
Katherine gives her dad the supreme compliment: “He treats us all the same.”
Perhaps because he’s swamped. He’s a lawyer. He’s in charge of the DC Council’s finance committee. And he’s a full-time dad.
“It’s the volume of it all,” he says one day after the kids come home from school. They are lounging on the couch. He’s starting to fix dinner. “It’s having to be on top of all things related to school and soccer and sleepovers.”
The triplets are connected in many ways. Every afternoon, Katherine and Christine come home from National Cathedral School; John returns from St. Patrick’s Episcopal Day. They usually relax for a bit, then sit together at a table in the dining room or kitchen and do their homework.
They have their own rooms now, all redone by Jack over the years. John has a Wii console and a computer so he and his buddies can play video games. Christine wants to be a fashion designer. Katherine does not want to be a politician.
Noel is still a part of their lives.
“Not much time goes by without someone mentioning what Mommy might say,” says Jack.
Katherine still has the blanket Noel gave her on her bed.
John remembers the day Noel came to visit him in kindergarten. “She brought roses for me,” he says. “She was fun. She loved plants.”
“She always played with us,” says Christine. “She never yelled. She drew pictures for us, and we would color them in.”
After Noel was diagnosed with cancer in March 2001, she persuaded Jack to buy a house in Del Ray, Florida, where her grandparents lived and her parents and siblings have long vacationed. She renovated it. They started taking vacations in the beach town.
“My first instinct was to sell it,” Evans says. “Now it’s become a great connection to their cousins and grandparents.”
Katherine, John, and Christine say their favorite day would be spent messing around on the beach, jumping on the trampoline, playing with their cousins—together.
Still the triplets.
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