When I was little, my mom had a rule: "You can have one friend over, or you can have three friends over, but you can't have two friends over. With three, somebody always goes home crying."
I have a long list of who went home crying. All too often it was me. Early memories of the Bizarre Friend Love Triangle include (with most likely to cry appearing first):
• me, Molly Peterson, some other girl from Brownies
• Nicki Ferraro, Jenny Cole, me
• Jackie Karr, me, Andrea Holder
• me, John Livington, Laurie Foreman
• me, Emily Davenport, some other friend from camp
• Emily Davenport, me, John Livingston
The list, pathetically, continues into adulthood, but I won't embarrass myself by sharing the overgrown playground politics. Suffice it to say, my mother was right.
So when I heard that the Stephens and the Websters were BOTH having girls, I immediately came up with...three. Small Person Stephens, Merriam Webster (the baby girls' respective prenatal nicknames) and Lucy will be spending a lot of time together, whether they like it or not.
Lucy will have an advantage because of her age and her bossiness, which is a trait she seems more certain to inherit from us than her height. Jason was legendarily bossy; his mother tells of him feeding specific lines of dialog to the other kids in their Star Wars role playing games. And me, well, I was that losing combination of bossy and dorky. I could rule for awhile, until it dawned on the other children what a woeful spaz I was: "Wait a minute, we're eight years old, we should be watching cartoons, not acting out Greek myths with our Barbies." Then they sent me home...crying. Maybe the bossy/oldest combination will work for Lucy, and she can successfully dominate little S.P. and Merriam.
It's paradoxical to wish for her to be the boss, much like it's hard to wish for her to be cool. I want to mitigate her suffering at all costs, yet I want her to be someone I would like (i.e. someone who has suffered a little). Mostly, I guess I should just wish for peace as we parents drink beer and have semi-adult conversations, while Lucy, S.P. and Merriam quietly torture each other, whoever the ruler is.