Sunday, September 1, 2013

Faeries and Family

Last night was some enchanted evening.

My parents invited us and my brother and his wife and baby to join them for their standing Friday night sushi date on the bay.  It was a hot day which gave way to a balmy evening, golden orange pre-sunset light absorbed by passing sails and then a spectacular sunset against distant thunderheads.

My father brought a special bottle of brut rose to share.  Big and Little Sis dressed up for the occasion.  The sushi chef, accustomed to my parents' tastes, sent a variety of rolls and salads.  We talked about parenting, about family, about turning 10, about how lucky we all are.

Right before we left, Little Sis focused her gaze on the lamp above our table on the walkway outside. "Loooook!" she exclaimed in reverence.  "Fairies!"  We all watched as tiny fluttering winged nymphs dived and circled near the light.  Little Sis couldn't stop staring.  I promised her we'd draw the fairies later to always remember the scene.

We drove home to the Indigo Girls, sisters signing "Come on Home" and "Song of Devotion" and we vowed to go to their concert next summer.  Big Sis told me how when I was in the hospital the sisters sang to each other at bedtime.

At home we rendezvoused on our bed as I fed Tootsie.  Little Sis snuggled in, a little teary all of a sudden, admitting she doesn't feel like my baby anymore: "I don't feel like I'm one...and I liked being little."  I pulled in her long legs and summer-bigger body as Big Sis confessed that her waves of tears the day before were because she wasn't sure she was ready to be 10.

I told them about Sandra Cisneros' essay "Eleven."  I explained that the girl in the story is eleven but feels all the ages underneath sometimes, too:

Like some days you might say something stupid, and that’s the part of you that’s still ten. Or maybe some days you might need to sit on your mama’s lap because you’re scared, and that’s the part of you that’s five. And maybe one day when you’re all grown up maybe you will need to cry like if you’re three, and that’s okay.

I shared that I can see and remember every age they've ever been and understand wanting to be littler, younger, less grown up, too.

We all had a few tears. Our lives have changed--tiny baby is a wonderful disruption but an interruption nonetheless, one that made it easier for Dad and Big Sis to go paddleboarding this morning without me--a reality I had accepted earlier.

As sleepiness settled in and Tootsie finished feeding, we snuggled up with Tootsie on Big Sis's chest. A few big tears of joy sneaked out of the corners of Big Sis's eyes. "This is the best feeling," she whispered. "Thank you, Mom."


Brigid said...

Beautiful photo

a said...

Holy cow, what beautiful girls you have. I'm all teary-eyed over here.

Anonymous said...

So beautiful. Impossible not to share the tears.

Anonymous said...

So beautiful. Impossible not to share the tears.

Marisa Reichardt said...

Beautiful words about a beautiful family. I need to read ELEVEN.