Husband went out to our neighborhood bar to watch the Warriors game with a friend, so it was just the three of us at home- Olive, Obi, and me. Okay, and Lando, too. After I did all the to-do’s like throw out the trash, clean up the kitchen, feed the cat, and give them their herbs, Olive finally got her Special Time.
Special Time started maybe more than a year ago when Obi was eating up most of our time and attention because of how high maintenance he was as an infant. Since Olive was at school a lot of the day and afternoons were the busiest with preparing dinner, we didn’t get to really hang out until the end of the day before bedtime. So we made it our time when we do something just the two of us- like color Pokemon characters, build our dream house with cereal boxes and magazines, or play a game of Go Fish.
On this particular day, she wanted to draw Pororo, the Korean cartoon penguin that we are all obsessed with. It was both of their first TV shows, and I am totally guilty of laughing out loud when watching. I used Obi’s dancing Pororo toy as a model while Olive drew all the characters by memory. Yes, she forgot Loopy’s nose and ears, but I was kind of floored by how she remembered little details like her sailor dress, the pocket on Eddy’s overalls, and Crong’s bulbous dinosaur toes.
As she was drawing, Olive started singing one of the songs that consists of a series of “La la la”s, and Obi dropped what he was doing to join in, swaying back and forth while singing off-key and off-beat. He tripped over his tractor but found his footing again and continued to sway and sing. They were both so happy, singing and glancing at each other- a look of amusement on Olive’s face, and a look of fondness on Obi’s. It was the best.
Later when it was story time, I found them on the bed sitting side by side, leaning their heads against each other. Olive was reading one of her books to Obi as he was sucking his fingers. Usually I put Obi down and read to him while Olive plays with Husband in the living room, so this was a special occasion. I scooted a pillow next to Obi’s boppy pillow and had Olive lie next to him. While I was reading a story about Corduroy and Lisa writing letters to the baker and movie theater owner and radio station, Obi kept looking over at his sister and holding out his hand. Olive watched me read and smiled shyly whenever we made eye contact. The story was about a toy bear and a young girl making change by writing letters. Little people making a difference in the world. This has been a theme in my life that has been shouting from the rooftops lately. When I finished reading the story, Olive said goodnight to Obi and gave him a hug. She went to her room to wait for me to tuck her in and as I zipped up Obi’s sleep sack, I said to him, Wasn’t that just the best? He nodded his head is if to understand, and I thanked God for all this.