|1stSister helping with candle duties at 4thSister's Baptism|
This year will mark the tenth birthday of my first 'Little'. 1stSister hits 10 in October this year and most days it already feels like she's left on a train marked teenagehood. Yet I thought I vividly remembered the early years.
I do, viscerally, remember waiting literally years to be a mother to one Little, thinking I never would be, and then not knowing what hit me. Eventually getting into first gear, and then suddenly I had two Littles to look after.. 1st and 2ndSister have barely 19 months between them, so before they started school I did the whole 'two under two' shebang for what seemed like forever. Days which dragged. Days which weren't book-ended by school runs. Days where sometimes we wouldn't come in from the park, the Abbey, the baby and toddler group, until it was dark. Days of giving two breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. A bath together. Reading stories aloud to two. Not twins but twiblings, everything in tandem.
By the time the Littles had grown and were both at school, aged 6 and 4½, 3rdSister had arrived. The days of having two Littles to look after, bathe, constantly feed and provide activities for - gone. Now each day focused on getting to school, picking up from school. A long nap in the middle of the day for 3rdSister. One Little. A rest!
Not that having two children in school is a rest. The uniforms, the packed lunches, the homework, the extracurricular activities. But it was different. It truly felt that the days of having the Littles was gone. It was a rest from what seemed like almost constant physical activity from morning til night. Bigger girls who could entertain themselves, and the baby, sometimes.
But, wonderfully, we are blessed with 4thSister now. And although there is a bigger age difference (she's almost 1, 3rdSister is already 3½), the deja vu of watching them interact is uncanny. The Littlest clambering over the other. Giggles in the bath. 3rdSister washing the baby's hair. Nature walks together. Music time. Soft play. Yes, it's fantastic when all 4 Sisters are together again, but looking after two Littles can be so special. It's like we've been given another two to enjoy like we did the first. Enjoy a little more, perhaps, now we (ahem) know what we're doing, and are more relaxed.
Such a gift. Two Littles. And now another Two Littles. What a gift to watch them grow.