This a pieceÂ from a fantastic illustrator named Claire Robertson. Besides having one of my most favorite “girl names” [Claire] she captures a certain whimsy of “girlhood” that is quickly and too early set aside for most of us on our march toward womanhood.
I am the youngest of three girls. Mind you, I am the baby and I quickly approach 42. My dear sisters are 4 and 7 years my seniors. We were never close. That is no indictment, simply a fact of our age differences. We didn’t really play together. Each of us had our friends,Â so I don’t recall snuggling with my sisters and giggling or being silly. I remember antagonizing each other. There are some poignant memories. TheyÂ usuallu involved deceptions and plots of anarchy; stealing candy bars, avoiding chores, hunting for loose change and calling boys on the phone. Â One year we each got a pair of stilts. The height and difficulty increased with age. I remember clackers.
Â My sisters each have their clackers in their treasure boxes. I had a pair with short strings and purple glittery balls. Very low tech toys. The “handle” of the clackers was a dime sized washer. As we are now all past 40, I think we are getting closer. I know I feel closer to my two sisters. I guess I can’t speak for them.
Â Sometimes, when you are not so close to your real sisters, you earn a different kind of sister. Sometimes, there is a special friend who becomes MORE than a friend. She is like a sister. A chosen sister. This is the friend with whom you walk through snow to sit on bus benches andÂ share pints of Haagen Daaz ice cream. Â It is the kind of friend you tell your secrets, like the boy your “accidentally” slept with at that blur of a fraternity party the night before. She lets you bum cigarettes. She does stupid Jane Fonda exercise videos with you and then gets blotto with you. The absurdity of silliness and youth. She is also the friend who you don’t speak to for literally years because you are an idiot and a fool and who welcomes you back. She loves you. And you love her.
Now,Â we are all softer in our middles, wider on our hot Momma tushies, we laugh easier, we cry easier, we enjoy life more, we understand the complexities of choices. We have had children and we stand beside each other amazed at the wonder and mystery. We are amazing. I love these women. I am blessed. I just hope I have a video camera running the next time we open a bottle of wineÂ and there is a Hula Hoop around.