Friday, June 08, 2007

Girl Crush

Briar has a crush. And it's a doozey.

Auntie Abbie has come to town and in the process has created a starry eyed toddler. Briar looks at Abbie in the way that my mom's generation looked at the Beatles - a mixture of wonder, love and desperation. Once, while standing in the kitchen Briar said, "Please don't ever go home Abbie." She is simply in love with her, and tireless in the demonstration of that love.

After hours spent squealing and pulling the girls through the house on a sled Abbie came to me and said,

"So, does Briar take an afternoon nap? Does that happen soon?"

"No, she graduated. No afternoon nap for Briar, just Avery."

She was crestfallen.

"She doesn't sleep?"

"Huh-uh," I said as I turned back to the computer.

"Aaaaaaaaaaaaa-beeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Aaaaaaaaaaaa-beeeeee, come here. Come here now and pull me!" Briar bellowed with unbridled enthusiasm.

"Ok, no nap," Abbie muttered incredulously as she headed back to Briar.

About an hour later Briar came to me and asked to watch something on the computer.

"Sure, honey."

After she was settled into Once upon a princess come true I made myself a snack and asked my mom where Abbie was.

"Sleeping, I think"

I checked on Briar after a while.

"Mom. you think maybe I could check on Abbie?"

"Sure." I walked her to the room and opened the door. She stood absolutely still as Abbie slept. I patted her back and told her to go on in. She pushed back against me, almost fearful to tread.

"Honey, it's ok, go check on her." She took another few steps, but made not a peep. We stood for a few minutes. Briar sighed.

"Maybe soon she will wake up."

"You could let her know you want her to wake up," I suggested, but Briar stood still. We left the room, Briar looking decidedly forlorn. I sat down with Briar, clear that I was her second choice. Abbie's arrival has effectively relegated me to plain old mom, a first. I've always been magic, able to bring a smile or a laugh, no matter the circumstances. I won't lie, I still hate parts of the road ahead. Already the new-mom foal has been broken, forced to wear the bridle of time outs and tough love. Because I said so and Mommy said no are well worn parts of my mama lexicon. I mourn the days of roaming free, no rushing to define the day with rules and limits. Just when I feel as if my heart might break from the inevitable march we are on, jockeying for position, me for authority, she for autonomy, I am stopped.

My beautiful baby now lives within a bubbly girl, curly locks sway beneath an increasingly angular face. She is saying things like, "Of course" and "excuse me." I want desperately to be her friend, to stay within the circle of trust, but even now, less than three years since she was nestled in my belly, I realize that I cannot. I am not her playmate as I once was. Watching her face light up at the sight of Abbie my saddness lifts. I am witnessing a bittersweet convergence of past and present as Briar takes my oldest and dearest friend, my baby sister, and invites her into her world.

Where before there would have been sadness, I now overrun with gratitude. That my mom had a second child, a sister for me, and now a friend for Briar, makes me weak. Abbie's willingness to leave her life in Seattle for these visits of playdough sculpting and gibberish talking is more precious than I could ever hope to explain here. I am like any mom, I want my children to have the moon and the stars, and in these moments with Abbie, I see my sweet girl reaching just that.

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8 comments:

Lara said...

awww, that's sweet. i'm glad your sister is such a significant part of your and briar's life. :)

flutter said...

this is so sweet and incredibly charming

Kelly said...

I love my brothers. And they're great with the girls when we can somehow manage to converge from our varying geographical locations. But the idea of having a sister, for this very beautiful reason you've so eloquently detailed in your post, is especially intriguing.

My girls are very interested in their Aunt Meghan (my sister-in-law), and they gravitate more naturally towards the softness of women. I like when other women are around and I get knocked down a peg. Sometimes it gives me enough of a moment to just sit, and stare.

(I love the name Abbie -- short for Abigail? -- it was on my list of names from daughter number 2.)

Joy, of course! said...

Very sweet. Your posts are amazing.

I am a bit in awe of you, I just realized you write two blogs. So now I have questions. How do you decide what to post where? Also who designed your AMAZING templates. I am drooling with blog-envy.

AmandaD said...

Abbie is indeed short for Abigail, she was "Abs" most of our growing up. And "Abba-dabba-doodler."

And the blog templates? My husband!

Cate said...

It's so great that your sister is making sure she has a close relationship with your girls. I'm saddened by the fact that my boys only get to see my brother a few times a year. I hope when they are older and easier to travel with (or the same is true about my brother's kids), it will be easier to see him more often.

chelle said...

"I am not her playmate as I once was."

That is the hardest part :(

Abigail said...

I am utterly humbled and honored to have such an incredible, sparkling little person even like me, much less love and "girl-crush" on me. It's more flattering and inspiring to have upon me than the crush of any boy.

You, Briar, Avery, and Sean are just incredible, an incredible family. I am just proud and honored to be a part of it, to be a part of all of your lives. I love you very much. Thank you for writing about this, Amanda. It means a lot to me.