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Cora’s been down about her best friend being out of town for two whole weeks, and if there’s one thing that’s been just as consistent as Cora’s moping, it’s her sister’s kindness.

All week Maddie’s been solicitous towards Cora, putting up with Cora’s crabby moods and showering her little sister with attention. A couple days ago Maddie made a fake restaurant in the living room and “served” Cora her afternoon snack off a tablecloth, providing a menu from which to choose and everything. Maddie’s been patient in the morning when Cora’s surly and snapping as she contemplates another day without the bff, and truly I’m seeing Maddie rise to the occasion and live out the role of Big Sister like I’ve never seen before.

Thursday morning Cora started crying before school, saying she didn’t know who she’d play with at recess. As Maddie listened, Cora and I talked through a strategy, selecting a friend to approach before recess and say, “Hey, wanna play together at recess?” Cora worried this friend might already “have plans”, so we came up with a few back-up names as well. By the time we went to school Cora wasn’t singing a happy song, but had a plan in place and was nervously moving forward.

After school got out we decided to stay and play on the playground for a bit. “Hey, Cora – come over to the bench and you can get on my back! I’ll give you a piggy-back ride to the playground,” Maddie offered. You could see Cora’s eyes light up.

After Cora climbed on Maddie’s back, they set off at a gentle lope. “So, Cora, who’d you play with at recess?” Maddie asked casually.

She’d remembered. And cared enough to ask.

Cora sighed happily, wrapped her arms in a tighter snuggle around Sissy, and settled in to tell Maddie all about her day. Cora felt Known, and Remembered, and Loved.

My big girl.


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