I came across this picture a couple of weeks ago. Ever since then I keep picking it up and looking at it. Of course any mother gets wistful on looking at pictures of those who were once her babies, but this one has grabbed me in a way that’s not just nostalgic.
Yeah the picture is really sweet. Carly sharing her favourite blanket (an old, worn crib sheet) with her brand new baby sister. She is just awake from a nap, still sucking her thumb, sleepy and content. Kelsey’s tiny, brand new head, still pink, is tucked near. Her eyes squeeze closed, still clutching to sleep and that warm place, unaware, uncaring of any world beyond that cocoon.
I see both my grown up women-daughters in those faces. And it moves me because what I also see in their faces are sisters already acquainted in comfort and rightness. One welcoming and one entering. I see brand new sisters already glad to know one another, already together.
Today they’re twenty-nine and twenty-seven, and all these years (decades) later I wish I could protect them from harm; wanting so much to shield them from those things that will hurt them. Still aching to know I can’t do that.
You bring a child onto the planet knowing she will have to navigate the waves of of the world; she will have to know hurt and pain, and ultimately these are among the things that grow a life. Every harm that comes to her strips a little off you, and yet every year she is more beautiful for having sailed those seas.
I can’t protect them like I could when I wrapped them up together on the sofa – but there was something I was able to do – give them a sister. I was able to give them a place to go where they’ll get all the love and support and comfort they need.
Lately I've been really grateful for that.
Having a sister – beautiful thing number 86.
It's bloody cold again today. The wind is bullying its way down Spadina toward the lake, and when you're walking into it, it whips your breath away. It's probably nothing compared to what it'll be a month from now, but as they say, "it takes awhile for the blood to thicken up."
Anyway, a couple of fortuitous and timely text messages around noon led to me facing that wicked wind up a short way to hook up with my sister for a beer later in the afternoon following her shift in the "plant" (CBC TV). Okay, mostly I ran – that gnarly wind was trying its best to knock me over, and so the only thing to do is just rev up and run into it.
There are few things better than a spontaneous few hours with a sister. A short walk finds a warm pub, a few pints and even a shared bowl of poutine.* And all things and are now caught up, off our chests, worked out, planned, agreed, arranged, shared and justified. Even the poutine.
*For the benefit of my non-Canadian friends, poutine is a sinful French-Canadian concoction of french fries, gravy and cheese curds. When the wind is blowing like that, poutine is 100% justifiable. And well, beach wear is months away…