This is why I pray every day and every night for the patience and grace not only to hold my tongue (and my tone) and not yell at the girls, but more importantly to react appropriately.
This is why I cried and why I felt that warm, bubbly feeling of rightness float up my chest and nestle around my heart when the doctor announced Bee was a girl. I swore she was a boy – I had been calling her Brendan for
nine ten months. A boy would have evened out our little family, had been the apple of his daddy’s eye, someone to squish spiders for me later, and the best news Uncle Joey could have heard in a million, billion years. But! A daughter meant a sister for Gracie. Two little girls who were only two years and two months apart. Two little girls who would grow up together and be best friends like my sisters and I.
This is why I stubbornly moved the crib into Gracie’s room when we found out we were expecting another baby, and why the toddler bed stayed in the girls’ room during the height of the Up and Down Bedtime Brigade (when Bee moved from crib to bed and newfound freedom).
This is why I ignored Gracie when she begged desperately for some privacy and her own room so her sister wouldn’t mess with her things and wake her up at night.
This is why I try to ignore the fact that it takes the girls almost an hour to fall asleep because they take turns whispering conspiratorially and gallivanting from one bed to another, oblivious to the fact that IT IS SLEEPING TIME!
Because last night, before I turned on the television, I heard the girls not just talking, but giggling – quietly. That was what keyed me in to whatever they were trying to hide. Well, that and the muffled heard of elephants that was apparently traipsing around in there. And I heard, “No, no! Put your arm out like this! And then spin around. In a line with me. Look, like this…”
Bee and Gracie were practicing some kind of coordinated dance moves. And obviously were trying to keep that from me. You know, possibly because they were SUPPOSED TO BE SLEEPING. But at least they were trying to hide it and be quiet, which usually they don’t care about. If the whispers didn’t give me away, the fact that they dove into bed and flung the covers over themselves when I put the hallway light on and before I opened their door would have given it away.
I pretended to believe the charade.
Because moments like that one is what they’ll talk about when they’re grown and gone. Or when they’re fighting as teenagers over sharing a room. What they’ll talk about the night before one of them gets married. Or what they’ll think about when they’re homesick for how it used to be. It’s how I knew in that moment when I heard I was the mom of sisters that I had exactly what I always wanted.