Aclea and Kilian Hicks spent the first years of their education being home schooled by their parents, living out of their car. Eventually, the family landed in the coastal town of Florence, and the fourth-grade twins have been at Siuslaw Elementary for three years, an extended stretch of stability for the pair.

The family recently moved into their first home. There’s a driveway for bike riding. A bedroom where Aclea can draw and read. A new baby sister on the way.

But the twins say the best change was settling into Siuslaw Elementary. The school is dedicated to making sure they get to class, no matter the obstacle. Every day for several months, the bus driver drove 16.5 miles to the campgrounds outside town to pick them up.

The twins have had an unpredictable childhood. One where a home was not always defined by walls and roof. They are matter-of-fact about their past living situations. Their voices are without trace of pity or complaint.

“I’ll go worse to better for where we lived,” Kilian says, holding up his fist and flicking out his pointer finger. “Worse, living in a car. Second …”

“Camping,” Aclea finishes.

“Third, motel,” Kilian continues.

“Then, the house,” his sister says.

“Yeah, the house is the better one,” Kilian agrees.

The siblings abide by the unspoken bonds of twinhood. They play together in imagined worlds, create games to which only they know the rules, and communicate with looks and laughs that leave others to wonder what secret message was wordlessly shared.

Aclea and Kilian are eager to learn and excited to share their knowledge. Kilian excels at math and loves times tables and division. Aclea is an artist and a writer, finding exciting ways to express herself. They love their school, and don’t hesitate to say it.

They call themselves “mirror twins” – everything about them is opposite.

Aclea wears black from head to toe. She shaved one side of her head and dyed the hair on the other side red. She is calculated in what she says. She watches the world, and her brother, carefully. Kilian is quick lipped – excitably moving from one topic to the next. He has long blond hair, and he wears tie-dye and a permanent smile.

Aclea is quick to note that she is, in fact, two minutes older than her twin. But Kilian is 2 inches taller.

Either way, they’ve both found a good fit.