Ten years later… winter… 1915…
Elizabeth Christine tied the laces to her skates before she cracked her knuckles. She knew her little sister would be on her way but she was a bit impatient. Placing her hands on her hips, she made her attention focus on the house, before she called,
"Anne! Care to speed it up?! I want to get this moving along and you're taking forever!"
"You always seem to be impatient, Lizzy!" her sister's voice replied.
Before long, another figure, two years younger than herself, practically hopped out of the house as she met her older sister's eyes. Lizzy held her head high as Anne finished,
"Just like mama, bossy!"
"Don't go there! I could make you eat nuts with a plenty of spices in it!"
"You did that for a prank last year and that was memorable,"
The other sister, a gorgeous auburn, made her way over to the side of the frozen lake, and much to Lizzy's amazement, watched as her younger sister stepped onto the ice and gracefully glided across. Feeling the older sister twinge of jealousy, Lizzy jumped onto the lake and skated in the opposite direction of her sister. As she did, she heard a male voice call out.
"I don't' need to know what occurred to know you two were arguing,"
"Busted," Anne replied as she zoomed past her sister.
"You're in trouble with dad!"
"You're both in trouble," Erik's fatherly voice answered.
Both sisters paused in their skating as the tall figure of their papa made his appearance by the lake. Folding his arms, he tapped his foot on the ground and Lizzy only guessed he was raising a brow.
"Did you both do your homework?"
"Yes," they replied in unison.
"Helped mama with the chores after school?"
"Washed up for tomorrow?"
"Alright; fine. The skating completion may proceed,"
"Busted," Anne answered as she skated by.
Hearing this, Lizzy turned and narrowing her eyes, she responded,
"Not for long!"
When Erik watched his two oldest daughter skating on the lake, which froze during winter, he shook his head. He still had his arms over his chest when he heard Christine's feminine voice ask,
"Erik? You're home early?"
Turning to meet her, his heart and eyes softened as he answered,
"Yes, I'm home early. Andre and Firmin allowed me to return because of…" he gestured towards his daughters. He could hear them, especially Lizzy, bickering as he finished,
"The elder children,"
A tiny baby's cry made the couple glance down and Erik, smiling, took his mask off, before he reached out and gently shook the nose of his son. The baby was only five months old but he was displaying the masculinity of his papa when Erik heard his second daughter call,
"Dad! Watch this!"
He turned and widened his eyes when Anne did a twirl and a graceful leap before she landed on both of her feet and peering up, waited for his approval. Instead of applauding, Erik noticed that Lizzy's expression was downcast and he turned as he answered,
"The both of you are talented and the skating completion will be great! No dumbs! I applaud the both of you!"
"She's better at that than I am," Lizzy answered but Erik was relieved when Christine answered,
"Don't allow that injury to hinder you, sweetie! You can do it! And Anne," she turned and Erik placed his hands on his hips as the younger slightly lowered her head, as his wife finished,
"Boost your sister up! It's taken her some time to come back!"
With a prayer of thanksgiving, Erik was pleased when Anne skated over to her sister, and taking her hand, spoke in a tone only which was one of encouragement, and when he noticed this, he finished before turned and whispered to Christine,
"Thank you; she needed that. That fall she took last month didn't help but thank God Our Father she recovered. They're both going to be great, aren't they?"
"Yes," Christine replied before she turned and smacked him hard on his lips.
July 1st, 2020.