At this point in our story, Nicholas, Katharine, and Emma have been relegated — not necessarily because they chose to be — to supporting players in Ben’s reality show. And like all siblings, especially ones that share similar interests in performing, they alternate between supportive and one of the following:
a. Jealous as hell.
b. Proud but not willing to show it.
c. Both A and B.
Between mid-October and the night before Thanksgiving, Ben did not see his sisters due to “Ragtime” rehearsals. Because Nicholas lives in North Carolina, we had not seen him in three months. That prompts remarks such as:
“Dad, I never thought I’d say this,” Kate said to me the other night, “but I actually miss Ben.”
“Dad,” Ben said a couple of days later, “I never thought I’d say this, but I’m looking forward to seeing Kate.”
First time I think they’ve agreed on anything.
The two I feel worst for in this scenario are Emma and Nicholas. Being twins, this is the first time Emma and Ben have been apart in their lives for an extended period. It also means Kate and Emma have to be together far more than any sisters do/should.
Ben and Emma are the old married couple in the family. They bicker, bitch, and laugh at each other daily. Emma and Kate manage two of the three, but laugh usually is not one of them.
It’s also been tough for Emma because, until this year, she always was in school and dance with both Kate and Ben. Now Kate is in a different school because she’s in 7th grade and Ben is in school in New York. Emma is truly on her own for the first time.
She’s done very well given the circumstances, and despite the fact that she is our most methodical, black and white child, she’s managed to adapt quite nicely to everything. Flexibility, however, is still foreign to her; after all, this is the child who would, given the opportunity, alphabetize the people she mentions in her nightly prayers.
I’ve written about Nicholas already (see “The Oldest” entry below), but I do understand how difficult it is for him. Ben’s dreams are Nicholas’ dreams, too. And Nicholas’ brother is living his dream. Because of the divorce and the distance, we are not able to give Nicholas the same day-to-day time and attention we give the others. It’s a hard reality that once he turns 18 and lawyers are no longer standing on the periphery, we hope to rectify someday. He deserves it…