Big brother called his sister over to the window, inviting her to join in on waving goodbye to mom as she left for dinner. They stood quietly beside each other, occasionally with a shoulder and elbow touching depending how each one swayed. Neither one actually lifted a hand to wave. Instead they just watched as the car backed out of the driveway. They remained glued into place for a minute after the car was turned out of sight.
Then the spell was broken, and it was time to play.
We read a few stories about Gerald and Piggie. Then we spent at least 30 minutes pouring coins out of an elephant bank and then taking turns dropping them back in the top. The coins were being put to bed with jingle sounds.
At bed time, little sister was supposed to go to bed first. This was the only time of tears for us that night as she begged to stay in the living room instead, to continue playing with the coins. Big brother crept into the room behind me, while I held the teary-eyed girl on my hip. I sang a few songs with the occasional sniffle coming from my arms. Brother picked up stuffed animals to help place around his little sister in bed, predicting that she would want them and that they would help her to sleep well. He snuck back out of the room as I offered a final kiss on her forehead and said good night. Our true good night would be a few up and downs later, but no more tears came (for either of us).
Big brother wanted to show me some highlights of the room, including the lego creations along the shelf, a hedgehog nightlight tucked among some stuffed animals, and the Winnie the Pooh blanket (which has to be turned sideways now because he is getting so tall). Two more songs were sung, a blanket was stretched over the toes, and another forehead kiss good night. This one was the only one for a very tired boy.
A brother and sister who love one another, who want to play together, and let a “grown up” play along, if that’s not magic, I don’t know what is.
#52sparks is my year-long writing series based on an art prompt challenge. The title is inspired by a quote from Star Wars: The Last Jedi: “We are the spark, that will light the fire that’ll burn the First Order down” (Poe Dameron). The spark that lights a fire to toast a marshmallow or to ravage a forest begins in the space of an inch. So just imagine what hundreds of inches and words can do.