By LANCE MASTERSON
Of the Keizertimes
“Launching children is such a curious thing because it’s everything you’ve worked so hard to have happen and everything you dread at the same time,” said Darcie Jones.
Jones is fast becoming an expert on the topic. She is mother to the famed Jones quadruplets. The very foursome that walked together as one during the McNary High School graduation.
Their future looms as the graduates will be attending four different colleges in three different states. From Washington south to California, Taylor will be at the University of Puget Sound, Lauren at Oregon State, Ian at Santa Clara University and Davis at the University of San Diego.
Even though the four are close, they’re ready for the next step.
“I think I’m excited for (college),” said Taylor. “I think I’m ready to be my own individual. I’m looking forward to my independence.”
“The whole experience of graduating from high school and going to college is kind of a bittersweet kind of feeling,” he said. “… But I’m really excited to take that next step, to get that sense of independence and try something new as I go off to college.”
College will give them a chance to be their own person for the first time in their lives.
“(College) will be different because our whole lives we’ve been known as ‘The Quads,’” said Davis, the oldest of the four. “I think we’ll be able to evolve into our own identities because our entire lives we’ve been our own people and we’ve been involved in different things.”
Darcie and husband Bob Jones, a vice principal at McNary, decided early on to stress individuality.
“There were a lot of conscious choices that we made cause we knew that even as we were waiting for them to be born there would be lots of comparisons,” said Bob. “… We didn’t want to have them grow up being compared to each other. We knew other people would do it just because it’s the nature of the beast.”
Among the four siblings are one valedictorian and two salutatorians. They excelled in music, athletics and academics.
They credit their parents with their success. But they add sibling rivalry was a positive force as was being raised in a tight-knit community.
The quadruplets also know that despite their thirst for greater independence, their lives will be different. There’s a flip side to moving away.
“We’re not going to have the comfort zone of, ‘okay, I know who I am.’ In that sense the advantage kind of becomes the disadvantage,” said Lauren. “So it’s a blessing and a curse. Keizer has been that comfort zone for me in my heart.”