Years ago, when our Emily was a little girl she had the very deep voice and a lisp and she would call herself “Ahhhmaaahhleee….”, she kind of sounded like an old Sea Captain…kinda raspy and fog hornish, it was hysterical. “Ahhmaaaahhhhleee” It was adorable, but in a dark alley she could have scared Popeye.
She had no trouble with her sister’s name ; “Helen Maeve” that she could yodel out loud and clear. So we all took to calling Emily, Lulu or Lulubelle or Lou. Every time I read some great adorable kid scene I see my Lulu, my Em, my love. As a newborn baby she was a cross between Winston Churchill and the Great Stone Face, very solemn and pretty intimidating, then about the time she started to stand and toddle around I swear the fairy dust was literally sparkling in the air around her. Forever in a pink ruffled tutu or some other wild combo of femininity, giant pocketbooks ( she literally was a Mary Engelbreit cartoon come to life) she went from being studious and silent to calling for her sister, “Helen Maaavvvee” with a magic wand in one hand and huge purse and part of her prize rock collection in the other. But I swear she was just the most adorable and sweetest natured baby ever. Watching those two little sisters interact was one of the delights of my soul every time I caught the “Ahhmaaaleee and Helen” show it was a lesson in human nature.
First there was our Helen Maeve. This amazing soul is a born negotiator. I swear she came out only after she made a deal with the Doctor about the accommodations in the nursery. I’ll tell you this much, If our Helen was representing you in any arbitration (legal, criminal, heaven or hell) she’d win. My money says she could still get Judas himself off. The girl is amazing. The only way to win a debate with Helen is to join her side. Now this beautiful creature was my sister Therese’s first-born and was used to using the fine art of negotiation long before Emily came along and many a time I saw my darling sister Therese “on the ropes” duking it out logically with this tiny brainiac (not me, I made all the decisions in my house and hey, it was 2 kids against one with me and I wasn’t about to lose control of the details before they even went to kindergarten) not Therese…she didn’t believe in being a dictator and she wanted to make sure the girls were capable of making their own decisions. But Helen, you could safely leave the Supreme Court agenda in her little hands at the age of 4. I swear.
Anyway, along comes Emily who does not recognize the power of arbitration and negotiation. When that little Churchill look-alike had it with you…no power on Earth could move her. Once she made her mind up that you’d treated her unfairly or worse cruelly, there was no getting around her. You could argue until you were blue in the face, when she wasn’t playing anymore she wasn’t playing. Period…you couldn’t argue her out of her you couldn’t tease her out of it. You might as well move on down the road because until she decides your worth talking to again, you don’t even exist my dear. And I for one hope to never get on that girls bad side. But what a paradox. Fairy dust and the Chief Justices gavel. If I could build that girl a “Coat of Arms” for the name Emily that would be it. Magical wands and fairy dust on one side and judicial robes and a gavel on the other. You’ll get the fairest hearing of all, and I strongly suggest you let Helen represent you!
Now these little ones are breathtakingly beautiful and accomplished young women, a blonde Mathmatician/fashion expert, and her baby sister a Artist/Professional Pastry Chef who makes other peoples magical dreams come true, with those beautiful doe eyes and curly hair and truly gentle nature that has always put me in mind of Walt Disney’s Snow White…just trying to calm down the rest of us dwarf Aunties. And they’ve managed to quiet the herd for a little while these ones. Quite a feat…
But, when they were little my sister would tuck them into their various car seats in her little tiny car and put James Taylor on the tape deck and off they’d go…once I was lucky enough to be in the car when Therese asked the girls if the wanted a “Helen and Emily Adventure Story”…hell, even I Did!
That wonderful Mom, my sister had been telling them made up adventure stories all the time in the car on their commutes to the sitter and home again or any road trip, everytime they got into that car it was akin to stepping through the looking glass or falling down a rabbit hole with your Mommy leading the way, holding a lantern filled with love and faith for those little ones to see just how fabulous they are. Daily adventures where the girls were heroes. So these girls were just so ready to read and to this day love a good story.
They’re usually the one’s first to hear about the best books coming out and usually they’re there when the doors open (right next to my nephew Pat). Ah, we’re a prolific bunch of readers. But to this day, I can still hear my sister say “How about a Helen and Emily Adventure!” and I just love the thought , that’s what I’d like to see…a hysterical kids book with a series of Therese’s “Helen and Ahhmaaahhhleee Adventures”! The best.
They’ve got to be, after all Therese turned me onto every great book I’ve ever read. IE; The Hobbit, Dune, you get the idea….hmmm maybe that’s where the fairy dust came from…