It was one word written in green marker on a piece of paper in tidy handwriting.
The paper, crumpled and left on the middle of the table was answer enough. Clearly no.
Bedtime had arrived. Time to put the game and tea cups and ice cream dishes away and head upstairs for teeth brushing and cuddle. The younger first, then the older. Hence, the note.
If the younger leveraged her cards right, she would get some coveted Lego time with the older. Things were not looking hopeful, according to the crumpled paper I cleared from the table.
I gathered it up, released my need to save it for posterity, and carried it to my bathroom to throw it in the trash can. That is when the tears, then sobs, began. I collapsed onto the toilet seat and cried.
They come easily, lately, the tears, at all the wrong times.
These were for approaching endings. For this particular ending that felt so close. The ending of Legos.
Three years ago another older sister bought a large Lego set for her birthday. It now sits in a bin in the basement. I know it won’t be long before this older sister will lose interest, if she has not already.
Time is short. It is so long.
I weep for final endings. There was always another on the horizon. I weep for missed opportunities. I weep for a little girl inside who does not know why she is crying but cannot seem to stop.
I need to go upstairs to read, but the piano calls me to sit and calm my heart. I begin to play.
Footsteps run down the stairs, and before I can begin to lecture, words fly from an excited little sister’s mouth.
We’re going to play Legos for cuddle!
Feet run up the steps and a bedroom door slams shut. I hear laughter and excited voices behind it.
Playing Legos for cuddle means a few minutes for me to write instead of read, though somehow I think an older sister will finagle a few pages of the Hobbit from me anyway, and I will concede because of Legos and the gift of a little more time.