Hand Me Down

Piper knows that when you outgrow something, you pass it on. This is true for clothes, shoes, and habits. When you aren’t a baby anymore, pacifiers get shipped to the cousins (whose mommies know what to do with them…ahem…). When you outgrow your favorite tutu, the hot pink tulle one you’ve been wearing since your second birthday, you give it to your beloved cousin, PJ, who loves to wear “cousin clothes” more than anything else. Your pacis, your tutu, your favorite fancy shoes, they’ll find a new home and they’ll be honored there.

Letting go is sometimes hard but it’s necessary.

Piper is hoping that I’ll be as generous. She thinks there is a chance that I’m still growing. I really want her to be wrong. “Oh, Mom! I love those earrings. Can I have them when you grow up? Promise?” She eyes me and my outfits like she’s shopping at the mall. This afternoon when I picked her up from school, Piper complimented my skirt. Then she narrowed her eyes. “I want that when you pass it on, okay?”

“I don’t plan on outgrowing it anytime soon, P. I’ve been wearing this skirt for years.”

“One day it will be time. I’ll help you,” she promised, patting my hand. Then she gently slid off my sparkly bracelet and claimed it as her own.

Break Up

Maybe I should have seen it coming, but I’ve been in complete denial.

It’s more like a transition than a break up; hearts hurt just the same.

Sissy and Piper have slept together for years. They have their own rooms, but they’ve chosen to share the bunk beds in Piper’s room. Sissy has the top bunk. Piper burrows into a bottom nest below. Piper snores. Sissy has gotten used to it.

But over the last few weeks, Sissy has been sneaking out and going to her own room. It makes sense. She stays up much later. She likes to sleep in. She wants her space and privacy. Piper still springs out of bed with the sun. She likes to kick the top bunk and try to jostle her preteen Sissy awake so that she’ll play with her. Sissy is not as tolerant as she used to be.

Piper doesn’t quite understand the break up. The absence stings. Last night as I was tucking her in, Piper asked me to climb up into the top bunk. She just wanted someone up there while she dozed off. I found myself in a world of pink flowered pillows and stuffed animals. It’s a little girl’s world. Sissy isn’t much of a little girl anymore. My heart cracked a little, too. Then Piper called through the dark, “Okay, Mom. You can go now. I’m fine. Sissy’s just next door. I know where to find her.”


Catch a Cab

If you’re a parent, you spend a good part of your waking hours as a taxi service. The hours stink. There are no benefits. Tips are terrible. Yet, you pick up, drop off, and wait. Repeat.

Piper and I were shuttling Sissy tonight to a choir concert. It was raining. The parking lot was crowded. There was a tornado watch. Dinner had been rushed. Traffic was a nightmare. You get the idea. On our way to the concert we’d picked up Daddy at the Metro. He was walking Sissy inside while Piper and I waited in the warm car.

Piper watched the other parents in the parking lot doing the same. We saw more than one parent running after a kid with a McDonald’s sack.

“Where’s everyone going?” Piper asked.

“Probably doing the same as us, P. Picking up. Dropping off. Rushing around,” I said.

“Where are they all coming from?”

“Work. Downtown. This is a tough time to get anywhere. Especially in this weather.”

“But why are they working?” Piper asked.

“We have to work. Daddy and I go to our jobs. We get paid and then we can take care of you. Food, clothes, toys, choir concerts. It all costs money.”

“Wow,” Piper said, “that sounds like a serious amount of responsibility. What a meany world!”