I spent the morning with Esther and Eloise, who had the day off from school, while their little sister did have school. We all kept looking for her behind and beside us as we all grabbed for a hand that wasn’t there.
At one point Esther was convinced that we left Astrid at the bakery. And for the moment after that I was convinced we left her somewhere too. But we have Eloise to keep us in check. She’s the hand for Astrid when mine are full, the one to bathe her when I have to work, and the one to remind me what time school ends or dance starts.
And Eloise does all of this without me asking. Esther easily picks up that slack if Eloise is busy with friends or dance.
The rythym of the three always keeps me calm as a mother – because I have help in so many other hands and hearts without question.
And maybe it helps that Astrid is five and seven years younger than her sisters – because having a “baby sister” is easier to handle than just a typical “little sister.”
As Eloise says, “Astrid leads a charmed life.” But then Eloise doesn’t do anything to make it a less charmed life – in fact I think she makes sure of the charm.
So this morning I took the big girls out for pain au chocolat and cafe au lait(chocolat chaud for them..but Eloise does sip off of my coffee…don’t tell Jed). We sipped and ate and talked about school and friends and how we will visit Paris someday soon. We made plans for their school Valentines and made a grocery list. Then Eloise looked at her watch and told us to hurry and finish so we wouldn’t be late picking up Astrid.
“I love Astrid’s school.” She said as we gathered our coats and hats. “I wish I went to preschool there. She’s so lucky.”
I know, hon..it is a great school. But your preschool was pretty great too. I didn’t know where to send you – you were my first, and I think we did okay.
“You did – and I liked my school. I’m always your guinea pig though.” She looked at me as she said this and I could tell by the light in her eyes that she was slightly teasing me. “Being the oldest means you can try things on me to see if they are good or bad and then make better decisions for Esther and Astrid. And I’m okay with that as it’s fun to be the first and to try things. And I will always tell you if something sucks…you know, so my sisters get something better.”
So you don’t mind being our guinea pig, is that what you are saying…because if you realize this is truly a fact(it is) and you own it and kind of like it, well there are many more new experiences we can try. Just wait for high school!
“Sure Mom, I can handle it. I just hope my sisters know what I’ve done for them.” Eloise kind of laughed as she said this.
I don’t know any two sisters who look up to their big sister more. Ever. They will always look for your guidance and your hand, because you’ve always given it so freely to them.
“Soooo, maybe now that I know I’m a guinea pig…I can actually have one as a pet?”
Don’t push your luck, sister.