I found this essay among old writings. The memory it evokes is as vivid as the mountains and, most especially, my daughters. Let me share it with you.
I’ve got two kids, both girls, and they’re nearly eight years apart. Given their age difference, there’s little they have in common, save fighting, which they do often, most especially when our family’s on vacation and they’re forced into each other’s company. Each year, I swear I’ll never go anywhere with them again. But fool that I am, I do it anyway.
A couple of years back, my husband and I decided to take the kids to West Virginia and hike in the Monongahela Forest. This was a pretty risky proposition, given we couldn’t get them to trek from the couch to the kitchen to toss their candy wrappers. Nonetheless, we got them into the car and up a mountain from which we had an incredible view of six counties’ worth of blue sky and dense forest. All we heard was birds and wind.
But here’s the best part: For whatever reason, the girls not only called a truce but instituted a love feast. They laughed, hugged and acted like the sisters I always hoped they would be.
To convince myself I wasn’t hallucinating, I grabbed my camera and snapped away. And when the film came back, there was my four-color proof: the girls’ full smiles and arms wrapped around each other.
I have the photos hanging above my desk. It’s my reminder that miracles happen.
P.S. The miracle continues. My girls are now 31 and 23. They live in the same city, and rarely does a week go by that they don’t see or talk to each other. They hug, they kiss; they are each other’s confidants. And I am their very happy mother who has above her desk numerous pictures of them together. They are the sisters I always hoped they would be.