Skye Penderwick glanced up at her mother, and beamed. With the early morning sunlight shining in Elizabeth Penderwick's blond hair, she appeared to be glowing. "Alright, Skye," her mother addressed her. "When you see bubbles in the pancake batter – you can flip the pancakes." Skye frowned as she scrutinized the pan. Her inborn impatience made waiting patiently nearly impossible. But making pancakes with her mom was worth it. She reached for the wooden spoon and gently prodded the batter, careful to do this only when her mother wasn't watching. Elizabeth began chopping strawberries and humming, while Skye squinted irritably at the calendar where it hung on the wall. A bright red star marked the panel: June 27th. Sky knew this was the day her future sister was to be born. Now, it was only March 12th, and June seemed quite far away. But not far enough. In Skye's opinion, she had enough sisters to begin with, what with Rosalind constantly bossing her around, and Jane talking loudly to her countless imaginary friends. Most of all, Skye feared that the birth of a baby would exhaust her mother, who had been diagnosed with cancer seven months before. "Skye! Bubbles!" exclaimed her mother, frantically flipping pancakes. Skye, horrified, ran to help her mom. By tossing their pancakes haphazardly, Skye and her mother managed to only burn their breakfast on one side. Elizabeth laughed ruefully. "Oh, boy. That'll be a story to tell the grand kids, huh?" Skye mopped her brow and smiled, too. "Daddy will never stop teasing us about it."
A moment later, Jane appeared in the doorway, clad in lavender pajamas, her brown curls tousled. "Wow," she whispered, her eyes wide. "You saved the pancakes…you're heroes!" Skye threw a stray dishtowel at her sister. "Ow!" Jane complained. "What was that for?" "For being a doofus." Skye finished chopping the rest of the berries, then she and Jane spread them over the pancakes. "There," said Skye with satisfaction. "Breakfast."
It was Jane's job to get Daddy and Rosalind, so she scurried off into the house, eager to find her family members. Skye set the table, then sat in her chair, stomach growling ferociously. Her mother joined her at the table, chewing a strawberry. "Thanks for the help, honey," her mother smiled. "What would I do without my Skye?" Skye flushed at this unexpected praise. "Blue eyes, blue Skye," Elizabeth sighed fondly, and gazed pensively out the window. Skye stared at the calendar.
Four Years Later
"Where on earth is my book report?" Jane yelled. Her voice was slightly muffled, as she was searching under her bed. "How should I know?" Skye retorted. Her favorite sneakers had vanished mysteriously (most likely Hound's doing), her oatmeal had ended up in Batty's hair, and on top of everything, her lucky camouflage hat was sopping with Ben's spilled orange juice. "Aha!" Jane wiggled from beneath the bed, clutching a well-crumpled piece of paper. Skye snatched her backpack, and rocketed towards the bedroom door. "Hurry up, Jane," She peaked around the doorframe, and saw Rosalind racing for the stairs, her brown curls wet form a hasty shower. "Skye, I found your sneakers," Rosalind explained. "Hound brought them into Batty's room." As she spoke, Rosalind tossed Skye the sneakers, and scooped Ben into her arms. Relieved, Skye jammed her feet into the sneakers, and turned back to Jane. "Let's go!" she bellowed. "Jane, now!" Jane shoved a stack of books into her bag. "Sorry, I'm ready now." The two sisters sped downstairs, whipped around the corner, and dispersed into the early-morning fray of the Penderwick family. Their father was tying Batty's yellow sneakers, Rosalind was wiping oatmeal from Ben's chin, and Iantha was fixing Jane's barrette. "There," she said with a smile. "Perfect." Skye glanced out the kitchen window, and saw the yellow school bus rolling along Gardam Street. "Bye, Daddy," she yelled. "Bye, Iantha!" Then she, Jane and Rosalind tumbled out the back door, and ran through the dewy grass to the cracked sidewalk. Skye hitched her backpack up higher on her shoulders, and looked up at the sky, a ray of sun catching her in the eye. The endless expanse of sky was sapphire blue, and stretched into eternity. "Blue eyes, blue Skye," Skye said to herself. The bus arrived and the three sisters boarded. They were gone.