siblings · slice of life

Two Here. Two There.

Isabelle has known — for at least three months — I was going to drive to my parents’ house with Ari today. (One of my dearest friends from college is in North America, from Israel, this week so I’m traveling to NYC to see her.) Isabelle has known we’d be back on Tuesday afternoon. Despite this knowledge, she had a tough time separating from Ari this morning.

About 20 minutes before I departed, the good-byes began. Isabelle smothered Ari with kisses on his cheeks and enveloped him in more hugs than I could count. It seemed a little over the top, so Marc loaded Ari into his car seat. Isabelle followed “to keep him company” while I finished loading the car.

A few minutes later, I opened the back door and noticed Isabelle perched in the space between their car seats. She was facing backwards — just like her under-two-year-old brother — reading to him. That’s right. SHE WAS READING BOARD BOOKS TO HIM. (For anyone who doesn’t know, Isabelle loves being read to, but struggles with independent reading due to ocular motor dysfunction.)

“Can you give us some privacy?” she asked as I appeared at the door.

“In a second. I have to put some things back here.” I replied.

She continued reading Hair by Leslie Patricelli to Ari — a book we’d practiced several months ago — quite fluently. I stopped what I was doing and retrieved my iPhone from my back pocket. I pulled it out to take a video, but Isabelle glared at me. Therefore, I snapped a candid photo and gave her the privacy she requested.

* * * * *

Ari fell asleep for an hour once we were 15 minutes into our road trip. All I could think, as I glanced in the backseat, was how it didn’t seem right to have two of us on our way out of town with two family members at home. This isn’t how it ever works. Sometimes I travel for work. Sometimes Marc travels for work. Sometimes Marc and I go out of town together. However, there’s always a set of grandparents at home with the kids. This time, we were split in half and it felt — for lack of a better word — weird.

* * * * *

When Ari awoke from his nap, he babbled in the backseat for a few minutes. However, he suddenly cried “Idd-ee” (That’s how he says “Izzy,” which is what he calls Isabelle.) over and over again. He must’ve noticed he was alone in the backseat so he let his displeasure be known. Therefore, the final 43 miles of our trip were spent with him in tears crying out “Idd-ee” and “lun-shhh” over and over again. Once we got to my parents’ house, my dad had lunch waiting for Ari. Afterwards, Ari found some framed photographs of Isabelle and all was right with his world again.

24 thoughts on “Two Here. Two There.

  1. Those two are two peas in a pod. It has to make you smile even though I know it isn’t the same being in two different places. Isabelle has this big sister thing down. Enjoy your visit.

    1. She definitely has it down. We occasionally pick her up at school. Last time Ari and I picked her up, it was a 70-degree day and he was walking around. Once Isabelle saw him, she grabbed his hand and would tell anyone who’d listen, “This is my brother!” in the proudest little voice.

  2. What a great snippet to share with us! So wonderful the way Isabelle and Ari have developed such a deep bond – and that she was reading to him! She is exactly what everybody wants for a big sister! Ari is so lucky. So is Isabelle! Enjoy your time in NYC with your dear friend!

  3. I had to laugh at the request for privacy. Hopefully the phrase “absence makes the heart grow fonder” will be true when they are reunited on Tuesday.

  4. I don’t know if it ever feels right when you aren’t all together but it always works out and often it’s healthy to have adventures in smaller numbers. Enjoy your trip, I enjoyed how you captured the events and feelings for everyone.

  5. Definitely a strong bond between the two. Separation is hard. I am sure there will be a grand reunion when you get back home. Have a great visit with your friend.

  6. What a sweet story. I hope that sibling love lasts forever. And that you are soon a complete family again. (But enjoy your time with your roommate!)

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