Just this.

It doesn’t happen very often. Just me and the youngest. Margie’s out of town and Bennett is having a sleepover at his Granddad’s.

As the little sister of a very energetic and imaginative older brother, Adelaide often does what Bennett does. Don’t get me wrong, she has strong opinions, knows what she does and doesn’t like, and isn’t scared to let her feelings be known. But it’s so easy to simply follow her brother’s lead.

Not tonight. She took advantage of the opportunity to think and do freely and was all over the backyard. Despite my attempts to get her to go to the bookstore and out to dinner to the vegetarian restaurant that no one else will visit, she was all about doing her own thing. So…I let her. She swung her doll and dragged her through the sand and vegetable patch. She fed Bob (a stuffed mouse) and Turtle (a stuffed turtle) grass. She climbed on our backyard play structure. She read books. If she thought of it, she did it.

It was beautiful to watch. Watching firstborns play is astonishing. It’s all so new to them and you. You’re amazed that they’re doing what they’re doing and saying what they’re saying. There’s certainly a repeat of that when watching secondborns play, but there’s also a greater appreciation for what they’re doing; how they got there; and simply for that very moment. You understand more deeply that this is never going to happen again.

I let Adelaide play and I’m really glad I did.


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