I used to call my sister Ivan the Terrible when I was little. I had a book-series of Russian fairytales that I thoroughly enjoyed all the way up through my adult years, and even now they remind me of the roles my sister and I played, embodying diverse protagonists. We took turns, but somehow I always ended up either the king or the queen, and she the prince or the valet. Being in the seemingly subordinate position my sister was often fearless in all things that required physical strength. I worked with the head, and together we worked fine. Now the Russian fairytales are back, with my sister moving to Denmark last year. Her son has also just landed to stay, and now they both insist that I visit incessantly. This is all very good, but what with my sister, such visits can be exhausting. Two days in a row now I've given in to the temptation to follow the two and go from riding bikes to jumping on the trampoline. And when my sister did a salto mortale, of course I also had to do one. My nephew would not let me off the hook. He thinks his mother is the most awesome person on the planet, and he can't understand why anyone would object following in the footsteps of such an awesome person. I said to him, “I, Queen Ecaterina, shall not get my 60s little dress messed up on the round thing with springs.” But he didn't listen. No one would listen. And now to the million dollar question: what do you do with parents in their 40s who don't make a distinction between themselves and their kids? My sister leads the way, but I fear that her path is the least travelled. And if I continue traveling with her, I won't be so sure about how my crown will sit on my head, nor for how long. Enjoy your gardens, and your fairytales!


but you forgot to mention how pissed I was to be called Ivan the Terrible, though, of course, you were right, as always

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