She always beats me to it. When Heather swung through my front door this time, we hugged without apologies. "This time," she said, "I can really hug you." My breasts weren’t in pain but my shoulders were. Sunburn. When I was younger, I thought, "Cool. It will turn to tan. At least I have color." Now I think, "Shit, I’m going to get skin cancer and will miss their weddings." A sunburn is just irresponsible and neglectful. Still, I was happy to see my friend and didn’t mind the painful embrace.
After some baby time (she is such a natural with babies), we headed off to pick up her baby sister (one of many). I was very excited to meet a mini-Heather. While waiting for her in my car, I realized I was quite a mother. "Dear Lord," I said while pulling at the tag beneath my chin, "I’ve got my shirt on backwards. I’m such a mess." Heather giggled. "I mean could I be any more cliche?" Then in her adorable sister swooped, as I apologized for making her hurdle and then sandwich between two car seat bases. We were off.
"Did you know 7-11 now has sugar-free slurpees? And that you have to pound them down to really get your moneys worth?" I did not. I had things to learn from these sisters. Over Asian-inspired morsels, I realized they’re both terrific storytellers and light up when they talk of their father and his threatening cane. Of their mother. Of their finances, even. They both glow and are such delights to be around, the kind of people who make life seem lighter. It’s funny, though, because Heather has always struck me as younger sister type. I could never imagine silly fun Heather as someone’s older, responsible, sister. She’s too much of a carefree spirit to be "older" than anyone. And her laugh, there’s nothing older about it. It’s mischievous, the way usually only younger sisters can be, out of necessity.
We headed into Neiman Marcus, where I insisted, "Can we please, just for a brief moment, visit my former life?" They obliged, and we stood, motionless, in front of the Gucci bag salon. "You have different priorities now," Heather reminded me as I stared down the newest tassel hobo. I’m sure I sighed. Then we made a run in search of baby clothes, mini Cole Haan loafers, and Lilly Pulitzer baby swimsuits. Heather was wearing a gathered skirt and looked quite chic. "I miss wearing skirts," I said in a groan. "I remember those days. I can’t wear them anymore, not yet."
"Yeah, the chubb rub."
"Baby powder goes a long way," she said.
"Don’t I know it. Honey I live at that address."
"It’s like the calls are coming from inside the house!"
All in all, a beautiful breezy day with stories, laughter, and a bit of spit up. I hope to be seeing more of them, both the days and the girls.