Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Things I Already Knew But Learned Recently

My youngest sister had a baby.  She wanted her sisters there.  We wanted to be there.  We live nowhere near her.  My youngest sister Andie lives in California.  My middle sister Mickey lives in Louisiana.  I live in Tennessee.  As you can see, there is some physical distance between us.  There is also a large age difference.  I was in college when Andie was born and Mickey was 13.  Since our mom died 5 years ago, the two of us have kind of become her substitute for Andie.  Of course we would be there.  We planned the trip and my daughter, who lives in Atlanta, asked to be included.  Andie had been trying to get my daughter to come out to Los Angeles for several years and now would be a great time for her to join us.  We didn’t tell Andie she was coming.  We coordinated flights and arrivals from 3 different cities.  It was a great surprise and we were so excited as we waited for the baby to arrive.

Indigo_32We arrived the day after Andie’s daughter Indigo was born.  She is perfectly perfect, a beautiful baby.  Andie’s husband Josh and her 7 year old son Taj picked us up from the airport, we headed back to their house in Tarzana and Josh left to go pick up Andie and Indigo from the hospital.  Over the next 4 days we visited and shopped and did tourist stuff and held the baby and cooked and loved each other.  There were so many reminders of things I knew but forgot about all of us, the way you forget when you don’t see people often.  Here are some of those things:
  • Andie is married to an amazing man.  Josh waited on Andie, changed diapers, took care of the baby, took care of Taj, washed dishes, gave us the tour of LA, had very little sleep and never complained.  He is the most patient human I have ever met. My sister describes herself on her blog as “A fiesty, short-tempered, in-your-face lunatic that really wishes for peace and equality and harmony and love” and that’s a pretty good description of her.  When Josh took her on, he also took on her son Taj, the sweetest boy in the world.  You would never know that Josh is not Taj’s biological father.  He is an amazing father to Taj and he is already a great dad to Indigo too.  He is my idol.
  • We sisters are all very different.  We have always known this but when you put us all in one room, it is so comically evident.  Part of this is our age differences and life experiences.  I am the oldest and my brother and I were very close in age.  He was my best friend growing up.  Mickey was 5 years younger and we had very little in common.  As we became adults, our friendship developed and now we are very close sisters and friends.  As I said, Andie was born while I was in college and I am more like an aunt or mom to her than a sister.  My own children are just a few years younger than her.  Andie is kind of a rebel but as she has matured and I have mellowed, we have found we are probably more alike than any of our siblings.  And this trip showed that my daughter is more like Andie than any of us.
  • I need more private time than I think I do.  I am quite aware that I occasionally need some alone time.  As I get older and my children have become adults, I realize I am pretty set in my ways.  This trip reminded me that, while I love being around people and family,  I have to have a place to retreat.  I didn’t really have that and I struggled occasionally.  I’m pretty sure I was not the only one.  My daughter is the same way and I think my sister Andie also feels the same.  We are all control freaks and when one is not in control . . . well, our eyes give it away. There were no issues but it was a short visit Smile
  • We all miss Mom.  I kept thinking about how much my mom would have loved holding Indigo and playing with Taj.  She would have loved that we are all so close now.  She would be so impressed by Josh.  She would be so proud of Andie.
  • We will all make it without Mom.  We are closer now and have each taken on different “Mom roles”.  Mickey has her caring nature and giving spirit as well as her sense of humor.  Andie has her strong will, independence, and determination.  I have her love of cooking, travel, and new experiences.  The three of us together make a pretty good combination.
  • Andie is a good mom.  She is very traditional but also very non-traditional in her ways of motherhood.  She is a hand washing and hand sanitizer Nazi.  She is careful to make sure Taj is ok and is having fun.  She knows what is right for her daughter and will make sure the right things happen.  She is going to be just fine.
  • I actually CAN make Mom’s biscuits.  Our mom comes from a long line of amazing Southern cooks.  Mom and her sister inherited her biscuit making skills from our grandmother.  Their biscuits are legendary in our family.  Of course, there has never been a recipe so I had Mom figure out amounts and wrote them down.  We have all tried to make her biscuits with varying degrees of success but no one comes close.  Andie requested Biscuits and Chicken ‘n Dumplings during our visit and I warned her that mine were not like Mom’s.  But I gave it a try.  I thought about watching my grandmother, aunt, and mom as they made biscuits.  I remembered how they made a well in the flour for the oil.  How they kneaded the dough on the floured surface until it was smooth and rolled out the dough until it was just thick enough.  They must have been there with me because the biscuits were perfect.  My daughter said they were the best I had ever made.  I may never be able to do it again but I did it this time!
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Wanda said...

Oh Tere, what a precious baby, Indigo.

Loved your sharing of your sisters, and family.

Oh my goodness I wish I had been there for those biscuits.

Ruth D~ said...

Sweet, sweet baby! And I love your list.