Thursday, April 19, 2012

Bigger Picture Moments: Separation

While the sun is still relaxing over the horizon, I tuck the girls into bed.  Pale light seeps around the edge of the shades, marking simple lines on the walls.  They are the sign language of dusk, telling us to hold our breaths while darkness gathers. 

The room smells like shampoo and toothpaste.  Giggles lighten the air; they are excited.  The bunk-bed commands almost an entire wall, hulking in the shadows with stiff shoulders and locked knees.  It is ready for the usual: one sister on the top bunk, one sister on the bottom. 

But as I back out of the room on a low tide of love you and sweet dreams, the conspiracy begins.  The cool light of the sunset is an aiding and abetting influence.  The beefy bunk bed is the getaway car.  The sisters are the masked thieves. 

As soon as the doorknob latches, whispers increase; a plan begins to unfold.  It is not a complicated plan.  It happens much the same each night--

Lauren will vacate her lower bunk.

Mia will reach down to collect Lauren's blankies.

Lauren will climb the ladder.

Mia will scoot to the edge of the mattress.

Lauren will snuggle down deep. 

The sisters become each others' comfort item.

It is not always a smooth transition: sometimes the tickling and wrestling tattles on their scheme so much that they are ordered to relent.  Sometimes the covers are stolen.  Sometimes Lauren is snoring too loudly into Mia's ear.  Sometimes separate beds are resumed.

But the sisters, the thieves in the night, they want to be close.  They want the heat radiating from a cozy pair of legs, and the damp breaths steady beside them. 

I stand beside their closed door, hollow and thin and impenetrable.  My palm is flat on the veneer, my heart is quiet for a moment while I listen.

Mia, do you want to hold my lambie? 

Shhh, we have to be quiet!

Hey Mia, do you want me to tell you a story?

...okay.

Okay.  Once there was a...um...once there was a witch.

NOOO!

Okay.  Once there was a little girl....

I pivot on one heel and whisper myself away.  The sun is down now.  The cool light has deepened into cool dark, erasing the sign language on the walls.  We can breathe again.  I am alone with my own silence and my own thoughts and my own empty arms. 

They are together, though, and that feels like feathers in my heart when it flips: soft and safe and filled. 

We're seeing the Bigger Picture through simple moments -- moments that force us to stop and take notice of the ways our worlds are important, meaningful, and beautiful. Please join us at Hyacynth's place today! Grab the button, link up, and read a few others to encourage them as they walk this journey of intentional living.

17 comments:

  1. Love this! Getting to watch sisterhood blossom is such an unexpected gift, isn't it? I never thought about that when I used to contemplate motherhood, and now my heart just explodes every time I see my girls being unpromtedly sweet to each other.

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    1. Exploding heart -- exactly! I never had a sister, so I guess I didn't anticipate the level of closeness that could happen. The friendship and the way they NEED each other. It's amazing to see!

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  2. The idea of them as each other's comfort items takes me back. My oldest did not get a decent night's sleep (therefore neither did I!) until her little sister was finally big enough to leave the crib to sleep with her. The two slept together in their Great-grandparents full sized bed until middle school. I have so many memories of standing in the shadows at their doorway watching them peacefully sleeping, arms and legs wrapped like pretzels.

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    1. Standing in the shadows, yes. That's what I do, too. I'm not a part of their tangled legs (not at bedtime, anyway), but it's still the most heart-wrenching thing to watch. I love that you cling to those sweet memories.

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  3. We tried giving our two (a girl and a boy) separate rooms when she (the elder of the two) turned 9. It did no good. They always found their way to each other in the night...until she was almost 13. They are still (25 and 22) the best of friends...and my heart still does flips as I know they will always be there for each other. Your images are so strong - this captures the sweetness of those tucked in moments just perfectly.

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    1. Thanks, Adrienne! It's just like you say: separating them is no good. They have to be together, and I hope it just builds and builds as they grow older.

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  4. i know exactly what you mean, how watching the sibling bond tighten feels as sacred as the sunset. it takes my breath away, too.

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    1. I love that word here -- sacred. It absolutely is.

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  5. Your writing here is exquisite! I feel like I can see them, hear them. And I love the moment you've shared with us -- this friendship being grown in the after hours of dimming sunlight. Just beautiful, Sarah!

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    1. Goodness, Hy! Thank you! I'm so bolstered by your sweet words :) This moment was almost simple to write because I *felt* it so much; I'm glad that came across.

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  6. I just LOOOOOOVE this. There's nothing quite like the friendship of sisters. :)

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    1. Thank you, Stephanie! I continue to be amazed and blessed by watching these two grow up together.

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  7. Oh my goodness, what sweetness! That bond of sisterhood is so special. I just love that they treasure theirs so much!

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    1. Me too, Jade -- I have my fingers crossed that they'll continue to treasure it. It's too special!

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  8. I love this. So touching and wonderful that they are so close.

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  9. *Sigh* I can hardly stand the sweetness of this! Our girls will be sharing a room someday and this is what I imagine them doing every night!

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  10. I love this...and look forward to it, although I'm nervous at the same time. Bunkbeds have been ordered and while it will be some time before Aubrey is out of her crib and actually gets to sleep in them, I hope some comfort will be brought in the two girls sharing a room together.....I can only hope ;)

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Hmm...And how did that make you FEEL?