Yesterday, I spent several hours running errands related to #3 and the school system. I left #1 in charge of the whole shooting match and called often to check in with her. She may be responsible and comfortable with crowd control, but I'm a mom so I still worry. I don't need to.
#2 got into a bit of a dust up at swim team practice at our neighborhood pool. The kids were horsing around at the end of practice and he pushed a bigger kid into the water. The bigger boy retaliated by jumping out of the pool, wrapping his goggles around his hand and then punching my son in the back with what I have learned is called a "goggle punch." Nobody told me. They didn't see the need.
#1 had handled it. Her brother came home with a bruised and scraped back and she saw red. She drew herself up to her full 5 foot 1 inch of height and stormed over to the pool. She demanded apologies. She insisted on repercussions for the older boy. She got in his face and scolded him for his bad behavior. It must have been effective, because I'm told that he hung his head in shame and his eyes teared up under the weight of her stare. I had no idea she was so formidable. Not a single one of my children told me it had happened. Why would they when it was handled so well?
In fact, I was shocked this morning when the coach came over to apologize for my son's bruised back. She assured me that the offender had been dealt with and was banned from the pool for the weekend. She went on to praise my daughter. "If only they all had older siblings like that," she said, "I wouldn't have to worry so much."
I guess neither do I. The girl I thought I had left in charge is actually a fierce lioness protecting them all. May God help the person who crosses her siblings on her watch.
It just leaves me wondering what else I don't know.