Triplets branch out by degrees
The Parkinson triplets might be leaving school and moving out of home, but with all three deciding to move to Wellington they'll still be close.
The identical 18-year-olds from Stoke had their final day at Nayland College today, and Ashleigh, Olivia and Kimberley said it was a little sad, but exciting. After summer they will move to Wellington to continue their studies.
The Nelson Mail has followed the girls since they began primary school.
Ashleigh and Olivia are going to Victoria University to do bachelor of arts studies, Ashleigh in Spanish and possible ESOL teaching, and Olivia in sociology and Japanese. Kimberley will be within walking distance, at Massey University studying for a bachelor of communications.
The girls said they had not planned to be together, but it was nice that they would be.
Olivia said they had been talking about it the other day, and being in Wellington and living apart would almost make them more friends than sisters.
Instead of going home and all eating dinner together, they'd be seeing each other on the street and saying hi, she said.
Ashleigh said it might be better them all living apart, because they would fight less about clothes.
They would probably learn to appreciate each other more as well, Kimberley added.
Their mother Carol said it was a little bit scary but also exciting that the girls were heading off to do their own things.
"The big thing for me is that they are all going to be in the same city. They made the decision purely on their own, but I like the fact they're separate but they can be together if they want to be."
Although the girls are identical, except for the colour of their hair, they have very different personalities.
When the Nelson Mail spoke to the girls on their first day of primary school, Ashleigh said the girls planned to fool their classmates.
"We all go to kindy and say we're all Ashleigh," she said.
During their high school years they'd only tried the trick twice.
Olivia had pretended to be Ashleigh and sat a test on the Treaty of Waitangi - and got her a mark of excellence. Ashleigh and Kimberley had also swapped, but had been caught and ended up with detention.
Inadvertently, they often confused people who didn't know them.
With each having a part-time job, they all said there'd been times when people had been confused that the same girl was able to serve them in Bunnings Warehouse one minute and New World the next.
The girls all have their own groups of friends, and said that Wellington would provide more of an opportunity to make their marks as individuals.
They were unable to decide if there was anything bad about triplets.
"It's cool having someone your own age.
"When you go on holiday, there's always someone else around to talk to," said Ashleigh.
The only negative could be that people compared them against one another, Kimberley said.
"We just try to be friendly to everyone," Kimberley said.
Mrs Parkinson said raising triplets was not so much hard as it was busy. She also has a younger son. "It was constant. The last year has been the most challenging, they turned 18 and they are ready to leave home. But they're good kids.
"Probably the most challenging thing about having three girls all that same age is having the opportunity of having one on one time with them.
"It's not very often you have one to yourself, so those sort of times are very special."