Friday, December 29, 2006

End of December

They hug in the bathtub, giggling. Will they be best friends? When will they start to discuss Mommy's strange yelling? Somebody said the toughest time for sibling rivalry is when they are 10 and 13. Worse than now? When Nora tears at Mia's hair?

At Whole Foods, they both want to drive the tiny child carts and it's a demolition derby, both careening down the aisles, Nora bumping her cart into the back of Mia's legs, making her cry. I maintain control, even when I'm paying and I realize I have forgotten the milk, the one thing we came for. They put all the groceries on the belt, reaching up over their heads to place the yogurt, the grapes, on the ledge. They sit on the low racks with the dog food bags while I pay. I'm so proud.

Then they reward me, after Whole Foods, after the Evanston Library, by going to nap at 3:30 and not waking. Nora sleeps straight through to morning, Mia wakes when Randy comes up to bed at 9:30. She's groggy, swaying, as we undress her at the top of the stairs. She stands naked between us, yawning as we help her into her diaper and princess nightgown. She's half our height, the distillation of everything beautiful and pure that is in Randy and me.

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