Thursday, January 20, 2011

Giving Her Away

There once was a time in my life where I would have happily given away my little sisters to a pack of roaming gypsies. If Arkansas had a population of roaming gypsies. Or traveling circuses. I really wasn't picky.

Once, after Rebecca tore an entire chapter out of my Ramona the Pest book, I told her that we got her at the pound when she was a baby. In a cage with the mutts. She didn't take it very well. I'm pretty sure I got bitten. Which really, if you think about it, proved my point.

I wonder if my Dad was thinking about these things before Rachel's wedding. I wonder if he was remembering all the drama. The yelling. The "she took my Barbie and ripped it's head off" moments. But I bet he wasn't. I bet he was thinking about the fact that he has three daughters and he was about to give a second one away.

This picture takes some explaining. Rachel and her sweet bridesmaids were trying their best to come up with a strategy so she could go to the bathroom without actually taking her dress off. She unzipped it and realized she could not fit it over her head. Thus my censored sign over her purple tights. Yep. You read that right. Bright purple tights.

I didn't help matters. I simply offered her my empty cup and said, "Here, pee in this."

Obviously, she didn't find my suggestion very helpful.

But I redeemed myself. I fixed her hair.

And as I worked on it, placing and replacing a billion bobby pins, I thought about all the moments in childhood when I would have happily given her away. To anyone.

And it made me sad. And glad. Because I really like her now. And I really didn't want Dad to give her away.

I thought about Becca in China. I thought about what a beautiful woman Rachel has become. And that's when I started crying. But I didn't let anyone see, because when pregnant women start crying it tends to create a panic. So instead I hid in the bathroom stalls until I got hold of myself.

It wasn't an easy day. But it wasn't a sad one either. And when the time came for Rachel to be given away, I had a complete change of heart. I think I'll keep her forever.