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The Days of Tits and Sweeters

My youngest child, Sheila, was always an amazing person. She was kind of funny looking as a small girl with picket-fence teeth, a freckled face and turned up nose, and blue eyes that looked lit from the inside like a candle. Sheila had straight orangey blonde hair and reminded me at times of a Raggedy Anne doll. Pretty? I don’t know. Adorable? Absolutely. (Before you think I’m being too critical of her appearance, I must point out that by the age of thirteen she looked like a junior Grace Kelly, icy blond, perfect skin and features, and a perfect figure.)

Sheila was emotional, intelligent, cunning, and irrepressible. By the age of five she told me she was going to be a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader when she grew up. I started seriously talking to her about the chemical engineering field. She was unconvinced.  

When we moved to a new apartment when she was about seven, Sheila asked me if she could label her dresser drawers in order to make it easier for her to find things. I thought this was a stellar idea and gave her permission. Moving days are always hard and this was no exception. Amidst the boxes and odd pieces of furniture, I sweated, swore, and tried to make some order of all the chaos. It was a rough day.

I let Sheila and her brother arrange their own room once we had put the beds in place. This was to keep them out of my hair as much as anything else. The kids had posters, toys, clothes, and personal treasures to deal with. I had the other parts of the living space. Tempers flared with all of the activity, both mine and the kids, my son insisting that his sister was not doing her part, Sheila screaming that she was too, and me yelling at both of them threatening to lock them in a closet if they didn’t quiet down. They didn’t. I didn’t. But it was a rough day.

I ordered a pizza from the local joint and had my son go pick it up. He arrived back home in tears because he had dropped the pie on the way home. I felt so bad that he was upset about it that I made it into a big joke. We ate the dented pizza and enjoyed every bite.

Finally, the boxes were mostly emptied and a path was cleared to walk through the place without too many obstacles. I told the kids to go to bed about 10 p.m. Exhausted, there were no arguments for a change, they went right to bed. I showered and put on my robe and went in to take one last look at my babes before I too went to bed.

On Sheila’s dresser, I noticed that she had used a magic marker to write “Tits” on one drawer and “Sweeters” on the next. Peeking inside, I saw the tights and sweaters. I nearly melted like chocolate from love.

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