There is a heart-wrenching, gorgeous song by Brittany Howard called “Short and Sweet” that we listened to, loud — just the way Mr. Magpie likes it — one night last week after the children were asleep. The lyrics are somber. They confront unrequited love, self-harm, unhealthy relationships. But there is an exquisite line in it that captures perfectly the way we open ourselves up to the people we love:
“There’s always a light over my head for you.”
The image is perfect: a lone face in the window, waiting for headlights to turn up the drive. A dark, vacant city street suffused with the soft incandescence of a solitary bulb in the window of a ninth floor apartment.
Howard’s song thrums with the agony of waiting for someone who may never arrive: “Time will always try to kill me,” she sings.
But there is a less torturous scenario that sprang to mind the minute I heard the lyric: siblinghood. My relationships with my siblings feel elastic in the sense that we could go from a disagreement to laughing so hard we are crying in the blink of an eye. I need no preamble to feel comfortable sending an out-of-the-blue text about anything at all, be it airing a grievance or sharing a hilarious meme. I can go two months without talking to my brother and then we speak on the phone and it is as though no time has passed at all, without any of the sheepish gravel-kicking that tends to accompany lapsed friendships. My sister can be furious with me but woe betide the person who criticizes me in her presence. There is a core there that cannot be moved, a light that will never turn off. I will always have my sister’s knit brow (“she said what to you?!”) and the crook of her arm to take while teetering in heels and the firm squeeze of her hand in the pew at Church. We may shift into times where we see one another less, or talk more infrequently, but the light stays on.
Thank God for siblings, and for all loved ones (friends! aunts! cousins!) who keep the light on for us.
+It is a blessing to be needed.
+More on siblinghood.
+A stirring memory from childhood.
+Another memory from childhood.
+Fun cardigan for Valentine’s Day.
+Into the cut of these charcoal jeans from J. Crew.
+Marysia vibes for $30.
+I have heard such good things about this carseat/stroller fabric stain removal kit and it is currently on sale.
+Speaking of stain removal, have I already talked your ear off about this tiny fabric brush?! I use this with a little bit of dish soap and apply directly to a stain and it gets EVERYTHING OUT. Has even worked on chocolate and wine!
+Those heart earrings reminded me that Nicola Bathie just launched some fun statement rings!
+This remains my favorite everyday moisturizer. Feels great going on — lightweight, blends in easily. Just an elegant, effective product.
+Scented drawer/shelf liners.
+OO this sweatshirt tunic.
+This dress = a slice of funfetti cake.
+This popular knit dress is back in stock. Chanel vibes!
+This pink coat is fabulous.
+Scalloped Liberty print top — reminds me of Horror Vacui and currently on major sale.
+Beginning to think about mini’s fifth birthday in early March. I am torn between a few different themes. She’s obsessed with Alice and Wonderland at the moment, and that could be a fun theme? But then she’s a longtime lover of superheroes, and look at this adorable invitation!