This week, my daughter Eleanor has been doing things without her twin. It’s kind of coincidence that everything’s coming up Eleanor right now, but Henry is feeling a little bit left out.
On Monday, Eleanor went skiing most of the day with Bob (no school that day). On Wednesday, Ele had her first theatre workshop class (and loved it). On Saturday she’s going to a birthday party at a trampoline park. Henry, on the other hand, is not.
Long-time readers might recall that Henry is the one who, eight years ago, yelled out “people don’t like change!!” Just, keep that in mind.
On Wednesday, I had Henry and Grant in the car, and we were going to pick up Eleanor from her theatre workshop. Henry and I were talking about Eleanor being in this workshop, and what that meant. We had the following conversation:
Henry: I remember when (friend) was in the play earlier this year, she got a LOT of attention, like a LOT. If Eleanor is in a play, I am going to tell everyone, so she can get a lot of attention too.
Me: Eleanor does love attention.
Henry: And I love Eleanor.
On our walk home one day this week (the twins walk from the middle school to my co-working space, do their homework, and either hang out with me until it’s time to go, or walk home together), I told Eleanor about the birthday party. Henry asked if he could go too, and I said no, that the kid had only been able to invite one friend.
Henry: OH! I completely understand. It’s hard to only choose one friend! When we had our birthday party and I could only invite one friend, it was really hard to choose! I don’t want (Ele’s friend) to feel bad that she didn’t invite me.
When I took Eleanor to her first theatre workshop session, she was so excited that she called out hearty HELLOs to everyone on the sidewalk and on the stairs to the entrance of the theatre space. Her happiness was literally leaking out of her in the form of exuberant greetings. We got inside, and I introduced her to the instructor. The workshop space is pretty neat – it’s inside a big old Victorian home that’s been converted into a tiny theatre. They have old seats that Shea’s donated, raked on levels (only 4 rows on either side of the aisle) leading down to the stage. Eleanor bounced around for a little bit, exclaiming over the numbering of the seats – the seats came from two different sections, and the folks who installed them did not worry about putting them in any kind of order. Eleanor loved it. Chaos is her preferred state. Once she calmed down a bit, she sat upright and forward in a seat near the instructor and said, “Hi, I have been in one play, at my summer camp, but I’ve never been to a workshop thing before. I don’t know what to expect.” And the instructor came and sat with her and told her everything that was going to happen, and they hit it right off. I was so proud of her for giving that context to the instructor, and telling her what she needed. After that convo, I asked Eleanor if I should stay longer or go pick up her brothers. She practically pushed me out the door. She’s grown up so much, being able to be goofy and also engage meaningfully with the people around her. GROWTH!