A Sister’s Spell


They kick hard sometimes, when their dreams require it from them.  

Put one next to the other and the kicks of one start incorporating into the dreams of the other, and then the other one kicks back.

They’ve been climbing into our bed lately, in the wee-hours of the morning.  

I got up to get ready for the day.

“Where you going Mommy”, asked Boo from a dead sleep.

“Just showering, honey”, the answer I always give. “Okay”, she whispers, predictably.

Quiet greeted me once out of the shower, a quiet that lasted long enough for me to get ready…


…then the sheets started rustling, 

then the sound that only sheets make when one is kicking her legs,

then the sound that only a sister makes when one gets kicked.


“Stop, Maycee!!”

“Staaahp, Booooo!”


Then the thud of two feet hitting the floor.

And a disgruntled face came from behind the curtain, squinting in the light of my bathroom.

She looked at herself in the mirror, then refined her disgruntled expression.


“Good morning, May”.

“Good morning”.


Then two other feet hit the floor, and the whispy blonde hairs untamed by the braid of the younger sister peeked through the curtain. 


“Good morning, Boo”.

“Good morning, Mommy”.


“Hadley, next time you sleep next to me can you please…”, started Maycee, now arms crossed, and not the welcoming sight that Hadz wanted to be greeted with.

Hadley interrupts, “But, Maycee …”.

Maycee tries louder, “CAN YOU PLEASE NOT KICK ME”.


Hadley throws her arms at her side and starts to whine, “But Maycee!!”


Mayson starts to walk out of the bathroom, behind where I am allowing all of this to transpire while I put my mascara on.  I’m not sure why, this time, I didn’t intervene — too early — not enough coffee yet — just not wanting this to be happening before the sun even comes through the window — but … 


I notice Maycee didn’t make it past Hadley, who is standing right behind me.

I turn around.

Hadley is bear-hugging May.  Squeezing her, hard, and not letting go.  Her legs are spread to provide her the sturdy base that she needs so that big sis can’t easily escape, knees bent, strong little legs being put to the test.  

And that is how they stayed for a minute, Maycee resting her head on her younger sister’s head. Stillness.


I was captivated by the moment.  It seemed unusual to me that May wasn’t just mustering her way through the doorway as her height and strength advantage could have accomplished.  But she didn’t fight Hadz.  She let Hadley hug her, the three pieces of her long blonde braid wrapping around one another like her arms were wrapped around her sister.

But then, Maycee squirmed.  But only enough to get her arms out of her little sisters grip.  She wrapped them around her little sister’s shoulders and hugged her back.


Neither one of them knew I was watching.

They weren’t even checking themselves out in the mirror.

The moment was raw and perfect.

I wanted a picture of the moment, and wanted to savor it just as it was at the same time.  I was too scared to move anyway, I didn’t want to break the spell.  It’s a picture that I will treasure and have the privilege of holding as their Mama and only witness to this moment.


They looked at each other and smiled, and walked out of my bathroom, arm in arm.


I stood there, mascara wand in hand, realizing what I witnessed was too much to verbalize in my head in that moment.  The little sister had enough gumption to throw all of herself into a hug, and the older sister had enough sense to let herself feel her sister’s love.   

 © Houseman 2013