A Special Occasion (part 1)

They were going to a holiday party.  It wasn’t the sort of party where you sat around eating chocolates and singing carols around the piano.  It was the sort of party where the men wore suits and the women wore dresses.  Liese and Frieda had the perfect kind of dress to wear at that sort of party.  The top was black velvet and the skirt was red plaid.

Frieda dressed quickly and added a little jingle bell necklace that Anna Beth had given her.  Then, she scampered out of the room, promising to help Liese with her hair when she was dressed.

Liese was actually finished dressing too, but the dress felt too tight.  She frowned at her reflection in the mirror.  She smoothed her hands over the dress and then tilted her head to one side.  Then, she spun around and headed out of the room.  Frieda was in the corridor waiting for her.  She was wearing the same dress, but it fit her completely differently.  The sleeves came down to her wrists and the skirt was below her knees.

Tevas,” Liese said, as her father appeared at the top of the stairs.  “What’s wrong with my dress?  Did it shrink?  Why Friedal’s dress didn’t shrink?”

He smiled at her and then shook his head.  Stepping up onto the landing, he said, “Nothing’s wrong with it, Sweetie.  It’s just… too small for you.  You’ve grown since the last time you wore it.”

Liese frowned and looked down at her dress and then looked over at Frieda.  “But… I got it the same time that Frieda got hers and she can still wear her dress,” she said, looking back at Tevas.  “Why I can’t wear mine?”

“Why can’t you wear yours?” he asked, correcting her syntax.  At her nod, he shrugged.  “Everyone grows at different rates, Liesel.  You’re growing faster than Frieda is right now.”

“So… I’m too tall for this dress?” she asked.

Nodding, he set a hand on her shoulder.  “You’ll have to wear something else,” he said, ushering her back towards her room.

Heaving a sigh, Liesel said, “I wanted to wear the same dress as Frieda.”  She looked over at Frieda and shook her head.  “How will people know we’re twins if we don’t dress the same?”  People already questioned it because they weren’t identical.

Frieda grinned.  “We could wear our princess dresses,” she said.  Their princess dresses were short-sleeved with a gauzy overlay that sparkled whenever they moved.  Then, she turned to Tevas and added, “If we wore sweaters with them, they’d be warm enough.  Right?”

“That sounds like a good compromise,” Tevas said, smiling.  “Wear your white cardigans with the candy canes on the pocket.  That way, you’ll still look like you’re dressed for a holiday party.”

Liese nodded and they headed back into their room.  After they were changed, Liese looked at her reflection in the mirror once again.  Her dress still didn’t fall as long on her as Frieda’s did.  However, it wasn’t tight the way her other dress had been.  “I don’t want to be so much taller than you,” she said, pouting.

Frieda shrugged.  “Maybe I’ll catch up to you when we’re older,” she said.  Then, she grinned.  “I doubt that you’ll get to be really tall, like Konrad, Liese.  Don’t worry about it so much.”

Heaving a sigh, Liese nodded.  She would try not to worry about being taller than her sister.  As she came out of her room, she looked up at Tevas.  “Can we buy a new dress for me that’s like Frieda’s is but is larger?” she asked.

“I’ll see if I can find one,” Tevas said, nodding.  He looked from one girl to the other and smiled.  “Go and do each other’s hair.  I’ll see how your brothers are doing with getting ready.”

Frieda caught Liese’s hand and smiled.  “At least you can’t grow out of hair ribbons,” she said, chuckling.

“That’s true,” Liese said, nodding.  They settled down in the living room and Liese began brushing out Frieda’s hair.  Her sister’s hair was soft and blond and straight.  While it was completely different from Liese’s hair, she loved it.  Soon, she had it tied back in a simple hair ribbon.  Then, she pinned it up into a bun and clipped a large bow underneath it.

“How’s that?” she asked, holding up a mirror, so that Frieda could see what she had done in her own mirror.

Frieda giggled and nodded.  “I love it,” she said, grinning.  Turning to look at Liese, she said, “Now, I’ll do your hair.”

This was the part that Liese loved.  She could do anything with Frieda’s straight locks.  However, her curls were harder for her to work with.  Somehow, Frieda never failed to find something pretty to do with her hair, though.

By the time that Tevas and their brothers joined them, Frieda was just finishing.  “All ready,” she said, giggling.  Then, she held up the mirror so that Liese could see what she’d done.  Her hair, like Frieda’s own, was gathered back into a bun.  However, Frieda had surrounded it with flowers and left two long thick curls loose, so that they curled down the back of her head.

“Bouncy curls,” Liese said, grinning.  She looked back at her sister and nodded.  “I love mine too, Friedal!  Thank you!”

Frieda giggled and hopped to her feet.  As they hurried over to join their brothers, she said, “Are we ready to go?”

“I think we are, Princess,” Tevas said, smiling.  He chuckled softly and then helped both girls put on their coats.  “You definitely look like little princesses tonight.”

“I read a book that said all little girls are princesses,” Markus said, his voice soft.  He ruffled a hand through his curls and then looked up at Tevas.  “It was a good book.”

“A good movie too,” Tevas said, as he ushered them out of the house.

Soon, they were settled in the car, on their way to the holiday party.  Liese was happy and excited.  Not only because she felt like a princess in her pretty dress and her bouncy curls, but because she would be going to a holiday party with her sister and brothers and their tevas.  “The party will be lots of fun, right?” she said, looking over at Johannes.

Johannes giggled and bounced his feet.  “Yes,” he said, nodding.  “Tevas said that Miss Jocelyn had a surprise for all of us.  I think it will be a lot of fun.”

This was the first that Liese had heard of any kind of special surprise.  Now, she had even more reason to be excited.  She looked to the rearview mirror and said, “Tevas, what kind of surprise does she have for us?”

“We’ll just have to wait and see,” Tevas said, smiling in the way that parents did when they knew something fun their children didn’t know.

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