siblings · slice of life

A Temporary Party of Three

I remember how odd it was to hear Isabelle say, “It’s just the original family,” as she, Marc, and I sat around the dinner table back in April when Ari spent a few days at my parents’ house. I never thought of the three of us as “the original family,” but seeing as she was nearly six years old when Ari was born, I suppose she considers us the original three. And as strange as it was to have an empty place at the table for a few nights, it didn’t feel foreign to me. I, too, remembered a time when it was just three of us.

This past week, Isabelle traveled to Bubbe and Zayde’s house for her solo trip. While she’s spent time with at her grandparents’ house before, I’m pretty sure Isabelle hasn’t stayed there alone since the summer of 2015. So, as odd as it is to have her away for a few days, it doesn’t feel foreign to me either.

What did feel foreign to me was having Ari home with just me and Marc. I vaguely recall Isabelle spending a few days with my inlaws when Ari was a baby, but I was so sleep deprived that I don’t remember if it was in the summer of 2017 or 2018! This time, I’m well-rested enough to be present. While Isabelle was away, we’ve done some things together she wouldn’t have enjoyed. Three examples were:

  • We took an after-dinner walk in the neighborhood. (Typically, Isabelle is too tired to take a walk at night.)
  • We had a movie night. (Isabelle prefers short TV shows as opposed to movies.)
  • We enjoyed a picnic and playing in the park. (Isabelle detests bugs.)

While Isabelle had the chance to be the center of her grandparents’ universe for a few days, Ari had the opportunity to be the center of his parents’ world for a few days. I know he misses Isabelle since he insists on calling her every night so he can do a virtual tuck-in. (He has this thing about saying “good night” to Isabelle. If he misses saying good night to her because he’s out watering the garden or riding his bike, he tiptoes into her room to give her a kiss on the cheek before he takes a shower.) And while I know he will be thrilled to have his partner in crime back, I think he’s enjoyed our undivided attention.

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12 thoughts on “A Temporary Party of Three

  1. I love this!!! It’s awesome that they both get to spend alone time with parents and grandparents! My parents love having both girls together but have commented that alone time brings out a new side:)

  2. Having some alone time does benefit everyone and makes us all appreciate new things. I was always a little envious of friends who made sure that they had regular one on one time with each child- it was one of the many things that I never did enough of…

  3. I think this is wonderful for all of you! As a grandparent, I love having my grandchildren visit. They usually come together, but it is also great when they come individually. My daughter often remarks how nice it is to spend undivided time with one of her children.

  4. How nice for him! My kids need some time apart. 🙂 Two weekends ago one went to play with a friend for a few hours while the other had a friend here. We have kept our circle very small and it had been a long time since either had played with a friend without each other. They certainly missed each other.

  5. Oh my, the “original family of three” – it echoes what my oldest son said on occasion when his younger brother would visit grandparents. There’s eight years between them. While it is so lovely to do special things he likes, it pulls on my heartstrings, how Ari wants to call his sister to say good night. She’s always been part of his world – a beloved part, it is clear. Such a slice of love, Stacey!

  6. Ari has grown into a little boy! It is wonderful that you were able to spend time with him as a family of three. Thanks for sharing your digital photos as well, Stacey. I just loved how Ari called his sister at night. Love is love!

  7. Oh the sweetness and tender care of a goodnight virtual tuck-in. Nice to spend special time with just Ari, and so sweet for the grands to get special one-on-one time too.

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