On Saturday, Liana was invited to spend the day with her best friend and Fred was showing property, so Arielle and I had time to ourselves. Girls Day Out! First, we went to the church bazaar across the street from our house. Arielle is such a bargain hunter. Her best deal ever was an American Girl doll she found several years ago for a dollar. I don't know if we'll ever beat that. But this day she found a set of the old Polly Pocket toys that sell on ebay for $25 to $30. Again, this one was a dollar. She also found a Josh Grobin Christmas CD and a picture book of Civil War battlefields. She has an eye for these things. We later went to Walmart and then food shopping. Not special in itself, but I so much enjoyed just spending time with Arielle.
Eleven, almost twelve, Arielle is approaching my height. She is a delightful age, but maybe it isn't just age, it is the way she is. She has such a level personality, not swinging up and down. She is calm and gracious, quiet and thoughtful, but out-spoken and opinionated. She's always seemed wise beyond her years. I was proud to introduce her to an old acquaintance at the bazaar. My daughter, my friend, my joy.
Later in the day Arielle got out scrapbooks from long ago. I teased her that she must miss her sister so much that she wanted to look at pictures of her. I used to be meticulous in creating the photo albums, complete with captions and narratives. But I haven't even looked at them in a long time. This day, the pictures stirred in me the feelings I had for my baby girls, my precious little ones, with their sweet faces and chubby bodies. "Remember this?" Arielle would point to one. Yes, I remember. How could I ever forget?
When Liana came home I was telling my friend about grieving for my babies and how sad it was to look at the pictures and realize they are gone. My wise friend reminded me, "Yes, but look at what you have now!"
Of course. It's the way of life. I have Arielle on the verge of womanhood, a girl after my own heart. We prefer so many of the same things, and we're alike in a lot of ways, except I'm lacking her good qualities and she's doesn't have my bad ones! Then my Liana, my little sprite, my fireball, who adds the spice to our family. She keeps me hopping, but I am in awe of her creative spirit and I watch eagerly to see where it may take her. Yes, look what I have now!
Yet my heart is tinged with sadness. These two girls I have now will also soon be gone. Gone the way of my sons, grown with their own lives, apart from mine. The watercolor ponies on my refrigerator rode away. (Remember that song? It used to bring me to tears when my boys were little.)
But I can't let my mind go there now. I need to remember to live in the moment of each day, in the present. I am grateful that at least for today, my girls are here with me. Right now they are asleep in their beds, and right now I can prepare their breakfast and then wake them with a song and a kiss. I am blessed!