G! You're three-and-a-half!
He ran over to her. I'm free-and-a-haff?
Yes! she responded. They held hands and jumped around the kitchen. He called for his other sister. Not one to miss a dance party, soon she was there, too, and they jumped in a tangled circle.
I had just taken the girls away from him for two days (more on that tomorrow) and he had cried for missing them. They're the suns of his world. They needed some girl-time big-kid adventuring, acknowledgement of their growing maturity and worldliness, exposure to new experiences and opportunities. And he needed a taste of solitude, a glimpse of life without a big sister by his side, as in less than two weeks they'll both be in primary school and he'll be alone, solitary, school-hours-sisterless. He cried at bedtime for not having seen them and he cried when he woke up and they were still gone.
How should we celebrate your half-birthday? one of his suns asked him. With vanilla cake! he responded immediately. And candles! Free-and-a-haff of them! And I put them in the cake and then you girls sing to me!
They looked at me wordlessly. I nodded. We could make that happen.
They danced around again the kitchen.
He looked at them one, the other, one again, around. We're all the same now! he said. That makes me so happy! They looked at him for explanation.
We're all 'and-a-haffs!'
They fell to the linoleum in a six-armed hug.