Sunday, March 15, 2009
It Shows Up Early
This is a photo of my cousin, Cecilia (right) and me in deep, deep, passionate conversation. Or, more precisely, she's in deep "I get it! I GET it already!" mode and I'm all, "Let me tell you what's up..." mode. We were about 3 years old at the time and it's a visual representation of our relationship to this day, even though we no longer fit on the same arm chair and she lives in Chicago. Personality traits start very early and this photo is an example. We talk on the phone at least once a week now -- sometimes more if political or world events need our attention or I just HAVE to get her advice. Honestly, 99% of the time I talk and she listens. I like to make her laugh -- I think I'm her Tuesday phone-fun -- and she always makes me laugh. Fortunately, my darling cousin, whom I love dearly and have always considered as my sister, listens and then gives me really sage advice. To her great credit, she has never, EVER, just said, "shut up", or "it's my turn to talk now" or any variation of that sentiment, even though I'm sure she should have. I'm not particularly proud of my ability to gab but I am very proud of Cecilia. She's is a single mother who raised two wonderful daughters, is a great film critic, treats everyone with compassion and respect and is someone I look up to. I regret the physical miles between us but I'm so lucky to have such a gem of a relative. Our respective mothers were sisters who had some kind of jealously or competition thing flowing between them and tried, consciously or not, to imbue that sense of relationship in their daughters. My mother repeatedly told me she wished I was more like Cecilia (who was demure, quiet and whose slip never showed or socks ever fell into her shoes). I wished I was more like Cecilia too! Cecilia's mother repeatedly told her she wished she was more like me (because my mother taught me to always say "Thank you" when adults gave me compliments -- where Cecilia felt embarrassed by compliments)! Yikes! I wouldn't wish "being like me" on anyone. Psychologists might have predicted that Cecilia and I would feel antagonistic toward each other based on our mother's input. It never happened that way for either of us. I always admired Cecilia and she seems to have the same regard for me. As I said -- I'm one lucky gal!