Prima is a total first child, guardian of her family, administrator of family events and ambassador of all family celebrations.
I should have remembered this when a spur-of-the-moment lunch to celebrate Nonna’s birthday came up the other day. The only missing local immediate family member? Prima, who was at school.
Of course as soon as she got into the car later, Secondo blabbed all about it. Tears immediately ensued, after some incredulous questioning by Prima, aimed at me, to confirm Secondo’s account. (The account went something like, “Prima, it’s Nonna’s birthday and we went brought her a card and went to lunch and I had grilled cheese and Daddy was there, etc., etc.…”)
“You should have gotten me out of school! You were all there, except for me! I wanted to celebrate Nonna’s birthday!”
After making a firm case that school was the most important thing on her “to do” list today, and failing to get much buy-in, I apologized profusely. I told her she had every right to be mad. What followed was a cute attempt by Blabbermouth McGee to console her upset sister.
Prima: Well, I am mad. [Pause] And I’m going to keep being mad for a long time. [Sob.]
Me: OK, I understand.
Secondo: Prima, sometimes when I am mad, do you know what I do, Prima? I just…I just…stop crying. Would that work, Prima?
About five minutes later, all seemed to be somewhat better. I can’t say it was Secondo’s sage advice that did the trick, but rather Prima’s complete lack of ability (at the moment) to stay mad at me. As she sniffled and got out of the car, she threw her arms around me. “Mommy, don’t do that again!” she said as she squeezed me tight. I smiled and promised.
I am consistently so grateful for the forgiveness of children. I am so imperfect, but their love and forgiveness seems to be quite without fail.
PS Tinkerbell now resides on Secondo’s bed, but Secondo, while delighted by seeing Tinkerbell on her bed, is still sleeping in Prima’s bottom bunk. And Prima likes it that way.