Friday, July 15, 2011

Morning in the Sisters' Room

Today, on the way home from picking up the middle children from their summer art camp, Princess Commando entertained The Baby in the back seat by repeatedly throwing a stuffed animal at the ceiling. The Baby sounded like she was about to burst at the gut with her deep belly laughing. "Oh, Violet, I am so happy to have you," cooed Princess Commando.

Violet has been a good thing, for sure. She is a glue which bonds the other siblings in a singular commonality- an adoration of their littlest sister. The boys were always mortal enemies- always swapping the position of being on the defensive or offensive. Never content with each other's company. Never appreciative of the potential of their brotherhood. Contrarily, Henry and Princess Commando are like twins birthed 3 years apart.  They share many of the same interests, the same humor, vices, the same annoying secret language, and even a bedroom for a year. They value one another's company and find comfort in breathing the same air. With 8 years separating Princess Commando from her baby sister, we worried that our hot and cold Princess would have difficulty stepping out of the role of Baby. We could only hope that there would be love between them. And there is.

Since we have been in this house (which has been three years), we have disarranged bedrooms, bodies and belongings numerous times, mainly to accommodate the youngest member of our family. In planning for Violet's arrival, we always knew that we wanted the girls to eventually share a bedroom. It happened more quickly than we had intended. I wanted to wait until Violet was out of her crib (which I expected to be next summer). But, in June, on the first day of their summer vacation, Princess Commando requested that she be moved out of the third floor bedroom (which she had been shuffled into a year ago with Henry) and back into her old bedroom with Violet. It has worked out much more favorably than I could have imagined. I believe that the new arrangement has given Princess Commando a stronger sense of kinship with her little sister. And Violet seems much more content now that she has a room mate.

My new favorite vision is of the girls in their room in the morning. I will hear Violet "talking" which has always been my cue to retrieve her from her crib. But when I open the door, I find that the conversation is no longer one sided. Princess Commando is either draped over the railing of the crib holding her sister's hand or she is groggily answering back in whispers from her own bed. I cannot make out what they are saying- but their voices are sweet and soft and I imagine their first few moments awake to be like this:

Thank you to Princess Commando for drawing a vision of pterodactyl kittens and lizard turtles for me. Photographs were snapped while the girls were still groggy and the lighting was not quite right. I've altered them heavily in Photoshop, with many layers and my favorite smudgy finger tool.


  1. Those photos are BEAUTIFUL! what lovely and lucky girls. They have amazing you as their mama.

  2. Amy, these images and words are so sweet! I bet it's even sweeter witnessing the bonding between the girls.

    Very inspiring!

  3. Aww, thank you Corrie and Melanie. The love will probably only last until Violet learns how to get out of her crib and get her hands on all of Annalee's prized possessions (or worse her pet frog) during nap time. I'll relish the sweetness for now though.

  4. oh, the sweetness of these girls just kills me. i'm afraid that letting ceci remain an only child will cheat her out of so much love. it seems like you are very in tune wit your kids. they're lucky to have a momma that loves them and gives them space to be themselves. xo

  5. You are so blessed that the kids have these relationships with the baby. Being the last one of 4 girls to come along 6 years after the former baby, I know what it was like to be resented by said "former baby" for the first 13 years of my life. I'll have to tell you the story of how she snapped out of that sometime. :) I love how you visualize the kids talking!

    Talkative Taurus