a kumbaya for sisterhood
When my first baby was born and dried and gangly-wrapped new, I positioned him for his first meal, and it just wasn’t working – his mouth and nature’s best, most awkward cup. So there stood my best friend, coaching me, being my sister, and without thinking, she grabbed my boob and shoved it in his mouth. He began to drink until his eyes rolled back, and it was beautiful.
And then I looked up at her. We made faces, and she said, “Did I just grab you like that?” and I said, “yep,” and we giggled and moved on. It’s just what needed to happen.
Motherhood has been this way for me, a time after time of sisters stepping in to do what needs to be done – play with my babies, listen to my complaints, steer me toward truth, make me an awesome casserole. Strangely, this odd blog-world has been much the same, an opportunity for sisterhood and for saying what needs to be said.
You know you’re a sister when you splay all your vulnerable business in exchange for her voice. I give you my voice, and then you give me yours, and something about it is home.
You’re my sister because we come from the same place – and with different readers/bloggers, I share different home places. We’re from a hard-working house. We’re from ugly feet. We’re from a bad temper. We’re from pit-low guilt, from proud of our children, and from doing with what we’ve got. We’re from grace – that uncommon place, a million of them, that only sisters share.
We don’t share blood, but because you read or you write, we go together to the funeral and to the party. You imagine with me. You taste communion wine. You help me say hello and goodbye, to kneel and to be honest.
And still the truth is that we are in a body, bound by umbilical cords, wedding bands, time and skin.
Blogs consist in words and images, rarely something that touches the skin (only the heart) unless one gets the chance to meet in real life, to go to a conference.
When I met Emily from Chatting at the Sky at Blissdom09, she went to her room and read my blog. The next morning, she grabbed me at the elbows and said, “I love you.” Because she had read my blog, she knew more of my heart than my girlfriends in the flesh do who don’t read me. She said, “I love you,” and I believed her.
But reading about amazing buttermilk biscuits does not a biscuit make. The dough has to get under the nails. Because a sister says to live out what goes on in the heart, I take your voice, your good recipes, and I’ll scoot my skin-sisters up under my table, knowing all the while that I would be the lesser had you not heart-sistered me so.
I wrote this as an entry for a scholarship to the Type-A-Mom Conference from The Sister Project, an amazing website that I stalk daily. It makes me think of the greatest sister I have, my little one, who once hit me in the head with a rock and who cried when she found out I had smoked a cigarette. Erin, you are (now) the very best at love.
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