Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Books, Lo Mein, and a Daughter named Emma

I remember Syd's senior year. I told myself that I was going to play it cool. Understanding how emotional I am, I coached myself early on, long before her final year of high school began. I knew it was going to be tough at times, but I vowed to hold it together and to not "cry that it was over, but to smile because it happened". "And truthfully", I said to myself, "just WHAT was supposed to be "over" anyhow"?!

But truth be told, despite the fact that I only teared up once at her graduation ceremony, and only once when I saw Bunny had "made the cut" and was packed in the back of the van on moving day, I knew this game of staying positive was going to be a true challenge for me. However, Syd and I talked openly about the changes we both had coming to us, and I knew I had raised her right when we both began talking about Emma.

If there was one thing I was looking forward to as my firstborn daughter headed off on her new adventure as a college girl, it was that I would now give a lot more of my attention to my second born daughter, Emma. It's not that the two of us hadn't shared our own endless number of memorable times, but well, she and I had always turned to Sydney first rather than to one another. That would change. We all knew it.

The months of September, October, and November proved what I knew would be true. Em and I grew even closer as we leaned on one another in Syd's absence. But then something quite unexpected occurred. A very bright shining star entered our lives in the form of a vivacious young Italian girl named Noemi. By Thanksgiving Emma and I were opening our lives to a charming foreign exchange student who needed a new host family. Emma and I knew we were doing the right thing but we also gave one another a look that said, "This has been nice while it lasted. Look me up in July? Or...maybe September?"

But despite the fact that I now have THREE daughters, all so very dear, all so very talkative and happy to share their life experiences with me, their lucky Mom, Emma and I aren't waiting until next September. We've learned that it's the small moments that bring us closer together. Today it was a simple impulsive decision to turn right instead of left as we left the high school. We drove to the next town over, ordered a huge amount of Chinese food to bring home for dinner, and happily chose Bridgton Books over Reny's Department Store to visit while we waited for the lo mein, teriyaki, and fried rice. We smiled at one another as we saw the armful of books we both had found in less than 15 minutes and we each giggled with excitement that tonight we could go home, load our plates, and dive into our first new book.

As Emma unpacked the food onto the counter, she said to her younger brother, "Chinese food and new books! This has been the BEST DAY EVER!" Despite this autumn's attempt at stoicism, I found my eyes watering as I thought to myself, "Yes. I agree, sweet Emma. The BEST DAY EVER!"


  1. ... now I'm teary! Those moments are the ones that get remembered. :)

  2. It sounds like a great day for you and Emma. I got to spend the morning with Bridget and Stella. Bridget had an early orthodontist appt. After that, we headed to Barnes & Noble, where, we too, bought books. Bridget and I got Moleskine sketchbooks, and I picked up a new copy of "Once Upon a Potty" for Stella. I got tired of reading the old copy, with its missing pages, to the wee one.

  3. My only wish is that I had been along...would
    you have bought me a few books too?