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Q&A with Aden, Bryant and Chase Burke on experiences being triplets

Abigail Lee
Aden Burke (left), Bryant Burke (middle) and Chase Burke (right), triplets and seniors, discuss their childhood growing up. Aden said the triplets wore different colored shirts as children to differentiate themselves.

What was it like growing up with triplets as a whole?

Chase Burke: I like to say (having triplets is) like a (built-in) friendship; that’s usually my go-to. As kids, we were basically inseparable. We were in the same classes in elementary school for the first year, until our parents decided it might be nice for us to talk to other people. Then we moved into different classes in first grade, but before then we basically did everything together.

Bryant Burke: Yeah, I’d basically say the same thing. Growing up you don’t really need friends since you have brothers, and then we realized that you do need friends, because friends are kind of important.

Aden Burke: I just feel like I’d get lonely without (my brothers).


How did your parents feel about the concept of having triplets?

Chase: So apparently the story goes, initially, they were like, “Oh yeah, just one kid! That’ll be enough to take care of.” Then they see three, and obviously, when you’ve just graduated from college, and you’re getting a job, you’re like, “Three kids to take care of? That’s terrible!” I mean, you only have so many arms to hold all those kids. It’s quite a lot of work, but they love us.

Bryant: Yeah, there’s five kids in the family now, so apparently, (our parents) didn’t learn their lesson. 

Chase: You can’t get any worse than taking care of three kids at once, so they can handle it.


What are some common questions you get when people find out you are triplets?

Bryant: Usually (people ask), “Identical or fraternal?” To which I usually respond with “identical” for all three of us, which is surprisingly rare.

Chase: The other one (people) always ask is “Who’s the oldest?” And it’s Aden, then Bryant, then me. Everyone eventually will realize (the alliteration), with oldest to youngest, and they all are amazed by (it). We get that a lot. And then… there’s usually the question of “Which one’s the best?” To which I always answer, “Me.” Because it’s true. 

Bryant: I’m usually more humble about it, so I just don’t really respond, but I’ll (say) “You’ll have to ask everyone else.” 


What are some questions that you’re tired of answering?

Bryant: I don’t exactly get tired of answering questions, because I’m just happy to be being talked to most of the time. Usually it’s a nice experience to know that people do care about the fact that you are a triplet, so it opens the way for some easy conversation starters. 

Chase: I don’t necessarily get fed up with the questions, (it’s) more so their reactions. People will be super incredulous, they’ll (say) “Triplets! Wow! I’ve never seen triplets before.” And it’s not that big a deal to us. It just seems overzealous to me. 

Bryant: That’s definitely always the reaction. 

Aden: Usually I’m just annoyed with people asking the question in the first place, but (people also ask) “What are their names? Have I seen them before?” 

Charlotte Horrocks

Do you have any good stories about people mistaking you for your brothers?

Chase: Oh yeah, all the time. In kindergarten, like I said, we were all in the same class, and we (looked so) similar at a young age that we would be differentiated by the color of our shirts. Aden was red, Bryant was green, and I was blue. One time, we decided (we would) change shirt colors. Aden wore green, I wore red, Bryant wore blue. And we sat in each other’s spots at (our) desks, got our teacher to call us by our brother’s names, and she just did not catch on for the whole day, until at the end of the day (I) told her, “I’m not Bryant, I’m Chase!” 

Bryant: I do not remember this. I have such a terrible memory of “younger-me” events.

Chase: Well, I remember this wholeheartedly. 

Bryant: I definitely had people from extracurriculars, and I’ve had teachers go, “Hey Chase, what’s up? Are you going today to volleyball practice, or Mock Trial?” And I’m like, “I’m not Chase, who are you talking about?”

Chase: That’s happened a lot to me.

Bryant: I’ve been stopped at least twice by Chase’s teachers saying, “How’s it going, Chase? How’s volleyball been? How’s your viola practice going?” Stuff like that. And I’m like, “I don’t know, you should ask him.”

Aden: I just realized- people mostly mistake us for Chase.

Chase: Because I’m the one who does everything. 

Bryant: Chase actually likes doing things with his life. 


Do you ever play along when people ask if you’re your brother?

Bryant: Sometimes, yeah. It’s pretty funny when people will (ask me) “How’s the team?” And I’ll just be like, “Great… I think.” 

Chase: Just go, “I’m sure it’s fine.”


All three of you are seniors- are you moving out at the end of the year?

Bryant: Yes, actually. I don’t know. It’s tough, but I don’t think about it too often- mostly because I’m kind of afraid of it.

Chase: I think Aden’s staying here, and Bryant’s going to Idaho, and I’m going to Utah for college. It’ll be the first time (we’ll) be apart… pretty much ever, I think.

Bryant: Yeah, that’s true.


How do you think you’ll adjust?

Bryant: Hopefully well? Yeah. I guess that’s kind of a big thing.

Chase: Yeah, I think we’ll be fine. We’ll keep in touch, and we’ll definitely see each other occasionally, so, we’ll manage.

Aden: I usually do better alone, but sometimes I do get lonely, so it could be hard.


What is, overall, your favorite part about having triplets?

Bryant: I’d say, probably, just the friendship part of it. That you always have people to turn to.

Chase: Because we’ve been raised together, and we’ve got the same genetics, we have similar interests (and) personalities, so we’ll get the inside jokes, the ‘triplet telepathy,’ basically, and people just don’t get things that Bryant and Aden get.

Aden: Yeah, it’s that I don’t have to spend as much effort trying to make friends. 


What would you say your least favorite part is?

Bryant: Probably the fact that, earlier in life, a whole lot of people (saw) me as just another triplet. And it gets kind of annoying to hear that you are just a part of the group, and not your own person. Obviously, in high school, not a lot of people know (I have triplets), and when they do know, they don’t care. It’s certainly fun to know that I am my own person, and I am not defined by the people I am related to.

Chase: People have seen us as so similar that they think we’re exactly the same, so a lot of the time we’ll get duplicate presents for Christmas and birthdays and stuff. Or (people) will be like, “Oh, Chase likes this, so why doesn’t Bryant?” They’ll just assume things they can’t really assume, because we’re different people.

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