Guided Whispers

“Hadz, are you crying?” I asked.

She shyly put her head down, looked up sideways at me and nodded.

The tear in the corner of her eye confirmed what I thought I saw.

“Why are you sad?” I asked.

She leaned over, hand cupped to guide her whisper right into my ear, “happy tears”, she said.

She watched her sister sing proudly in her school performance, the songs which I’m pretty sure Hadz knew by heart, too, as they have been practiced on our living room stage for about a month.   She watched and smiled and clapped and pointed and gleamed with pride; her big sis had her full, undivided attention.  


It dawned on me later that night as I was glancing through my photos from the performance … and came across this photo here … that I am not just raising two girls.  

I am raising sisters.

It’s so easy to think of them individually, to think of them related to how they make me feel in any given moment.  

But they have this amazingly intricate, beautiful, blood borne, DNA-woven, subconscious, natural kinship that is like nothing else.  No one will ever understand it like they do, no one will ever know them quite like they know each other.  And while I know what this feels like because I am - and have - a sister, too, it took seeing that tear shed and stalled on the sweetness of her skin, to truly respect and honor that which is uniquely theirs.  

Sisterhood: to relive my own by witnessing theirs has been one of the greatest gifts of motherhood.  

For there is no friend like a sister

In calm or stormy weather; 

To cheer one on the tedious way, 

To fetch one if one goes astray,

To lift one if one totters down,

To strengthen whilst one stands.

                                                                          Christina Rossetti

 © Houseman 2013