Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Lullabye


We were downstairs just after bedtime. I'd gone to take out my contacts and wash my face, meanwhile Avery had shuffled down the stairs and wiggled her way into Sean's arms. They looked equally complicit and content and so, as I heard Finley start to cry, I left them with a smile.

Closing the door softly behind me, I made my way upstairs, Finley's cries ratcheting up with each stride. Half way up the stairs I heard Briar begin to warble a tune of her own making:

Go to sleep, little Fin.
Go to sleep so nicely and sweet,
Little Fin, little Fin,
Sleep so you sleep,
Dream so you dream.


I stopped and listened. Her voice quivered a bit as she started each line, but then would grow stronger and more melodic as she moved to a higher note. I could hear her feet on the floor, imagined her dancing with a doll to entertain Fin. Briar is becoming more and more like me each day. Taking on responsibilities, stubbornly insisting that she do things on her own and care taking her sisters.

I find myself so torn by the way she tends to Finley without a second thought and the way in which Finley responds. She finds comfort in Briar, shades of what she does in me. I don't mean to put Briar in this position, don't want her to feel overburdened, yet I also don't want to deny her the gratification she must feel in having this ability.

I listened, waiting until I was sure Finley was asleep, and I called to Briar.

Briar? Briar.
Come here sweetie, come sit in mom's room.


She darted qucikly, her hands holding her nightgown down as if the fabric's swishing might wake Fin. I scooped her in my arms and carried her to my bed. We sat together, with her in arms, talking conspiratorially. I ran my fingers through her hair and listened as questions and new details of the school day bubbled from her perfect little lips.

When I'm a mommy will I drive to the hospital?
And when the baby is out of my belly will you still be my mom?
And then I was just pumping and knowing how to swing at school.
And then Daniel was talking to me about how he does his swinging.


I found myself overwhelmed by the absence of guilt as I just listened. These few stolen moments felt as momentous and precious as anything I can remember. We crawled under the covers and touched noses, enjoying the time. Sean and Avery cuddled below and Fin slept the kind of sleep that comes from sharing a room with sisters.

I'll remember this simple moment forever.

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10 comments:

Sara said...

Amanda,
I have been reading for a bit (but of course have never left a comment) and feel that I just need to send a thanks your way. Your thoughful posts of tiny special moments with your girls has made me appreciate the smallest of moments with my son and daughter and our lives are so much richer for it.
Thank you,
Sara

Jenn said...

Ugh.

So absolutely, tear-enducingly beautiful--as always.

God, I wish you were closer.

Cluck and Tweet said...

sweet, sweet, sweet, the simple moments are truly the stuff of life.

BetteJo said...

Such wonderful moments and so very important to your girls as they grow. :)

Robin said...

So sweet!

Myshka said...

UGHHH!*&*&^!! Again, you manage to break my heart into tiny little pieces of magic and make me wish I was 4 again.

Christy said...

Beautiful as always! I love how the simple moments always speak so loud.

Heather said...

What a beautiful way to spend the evening.

jen said...

i often come here and think i can't do it. i can barely stand to look at how brightly you glow.

because it's so bright. and so humbling. i love you

Kat said...

Your Briar is a little mommy already, and that is precious. I know that you, with your fine-tuned sense of what is good for them, will not let Briar take on responsibility she shoulnd't have. But it's an amazing feeling to be able to quiet a crying baby...little Brian is blessed.