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.