Monday, April 12, 2010

Dear, sweet Audrey and Evangeline,

My darling girls. You are so alike. You laugh alike, and cry alike, you both have the same delicate point of a chin; the same finely sculpted nose. Yet you are so different.

As of late you love to play ‘ship’ – to throw all the couch pillows onto the floor and make your ‘deck’ in the empty cradle of the couch. Evangeline, you are so proud of your athleticism! You pull yourself up to a standing position and slap your hands and bounce and squeal and throw your eyes at me as if to say, Look what I can do!

Audrey, you are busy collecting and arranging your toys: princesses and ponies and second-hand purses from my college days. You took all the golden tassels off the doorknobs, and scraps of ribbon out of the hatbox, and fastened them round the necks of your horses like garlands in a Spring parade.

Last night Daddy was in California and we went out for dinner, just the three of us. Evangeline, you contented yourself by sucking on a lemon wedge while Audrey slurped water through her straw like a teenager drinking a dime-store milkshake.

“Oh, how's your day at the Bible study?” you (Audrey) asked, between sips. “How’s your day with – Daddy?”

“We had a lovely time,” I said, feeling suddenly like a child playing grown-up. “We went out to dinner...and we talked... and we prayed that God would make us better parents.”

“Oh,” said you, “You – you tell me a story please, Mudder – about Audrey?”

“Alright," I said, propping my elbows on the table, "Once upon a time there were two sisters: Audrey and Evangeline. And they were the best of friends. One morning in springtime they planted a vegetable garden in their backyard – they raked the dirt and dug holes with their spades. Then they separated the seeds into piles and dropped them one by one into the ground. They covered the holes over with soil and patted and watered them. Because they lived in the desert the seeds enjoyed plenty of sun."

Soon the seeds sprouted; and as the spring days wore on they grew and grew. By the time July came the watermelon plant had grown especially tall – its leafy green stalk stretched as high as the sky and disappeared through a roof of clouds.

One afternoon, Audrey had an idea. ‘Let’s have a picnic!’ she said to Evangeline, ‘Let’s have a picnic way up in the clouds!’"

So the two girls packed a basketful of goodies: crackers and cheese, blueberries and chocolate and lemonade, and they climbed up the watermelon stalk until they had disappeared straight into the clouds."

Evangeline spied the perfect cloud – fluffy and soft as a cotton ball – where they laid out their blanket and spread out their feast. Only there was one problem: the cloud was thin as mist and they kept sinking just like Dumbo all swaddled in the stork’s handkerchief!

Audrey, who was heavier than Evangeline, began to sink first. And when Evangeline saw her she grabbed her arm and pulled and pulled and pulled with all her might until Audrey was safe atop the cloud. But the force of her pulling had caused Evangeline to begin sinking and Audrey hadn’t time to catch her breath before she had to grab her sister's arm and pull and pull and pull until Evangeline, too, was safe.”

“And that my dear girls,” I said with a nod, “is how I hope it will be between the two of you someday.”

“You mean if – if – if she’s sinking then I’m gonna save her?” you (Audrey) asked.

“Yes," I said, "And if you’re sinking then she's gonna save you.”

It's a lovely picture; and I hope it will come true.


Your Mudder


Joseph Anfuso said...

Heather, You REALLY should write children's stories someday. As I read the tale you made up for Audrey, I found myself picturing the images that could accompany the words. Seriously, Heath, you should do this (write children's stories). I also chuckled at your reference to "teenagers sipping milkshakes in a dime store." So 1940s. You're a true romantic, Heath. :-) :-)

our family said...

I love your dad's comments above. You SHOULD write children's stories.
I think you said you braved a real, live restaurant when outnumbered by two children??!! Very impressive! What a treat for them!!
The girls' ears must have been burning this morning, as Jen and I were discussing how absolutely beautiful they both are.
I so badly wished I could have you closer.... But you are truly a source of encouragement and wisdom, even from afar! Love you so much!

Anonymous said...


HM Baker said...

I did take them to a restaurant alone... I have fond memories of doing this last summer when Dutch was out of town and Evie was still just a wee babe. This time was - um, very different. Let's just say the waitstaff were very happy to see me go. :)