Yesterday my sister came home with little garnet studs in her ears. Part of it made me want to cry. My baby sister looked so beautiful and grown up, with her hair up and with earrings in her ears. Things like this make me realize that I can't keep her little forever.
We share a room, and so often I come in late while she's sleeping, curled up and kittenish, and when I get into bed she murmurs a milky "goodnight" and rolls over again. She seems so young and vulnerable asleep, and still so young when we're awake - a firecracker full of ideas and indignation and energy. And for some reason piercing her ears seems like such a step towards adulthood and grown-up life.
I don't want her to grow up. I love her ideas and her optimism and her anger at how the world is turning out. I love her intolerance for stupidity and her certainty and the way she roller-skates up and down the sidewalk. And, yes, I love that she wanted earrings so much that we finally gave in now that she's twelve.
Ursula, you look beautiful and grown up and it's so lovely to get to see you figure things out. I love you.