When I was little I saw a Shirley Temple movie that fascinated me. I can't recall the name though I am sure Google would let me know pretty quickly if I were to ask. But I hestitate to find the answer because that might take away some of the magic of my six year old memory.
The way I recall the film, the character of Shirley Temple was on a pastel coated island bathed in pink honey light, it's inhabitants were children swathed in togas. Every so often a beautiful ship would arrive, sailing through the golden light and carry some of the children away. The children were always happy to go, waving with wide smiles from the deck to their friends on shore... for they had been called.
I often think of this memory when I now witness my own children decades later. I can't help but wonder if they were once on a similar island rocking pastel togas, waiting to be called.
A few months before I found out I was pregnant with Isabella I visited a wise clairevoyant. I was pretty broken at the time having lost a pregnancy at 13 weeks and I was seeking answers anywhere I could. Pam, the gorgeous woman with her advisory board of tarot cards laid out before me said to me very matter of factly that she saw two children on my path.
I remember being dumbstruck and saying something like... "Are you sure? I can't even carry one," which prompted the inevitable and ongoing tears on my part.
She looked up and into my eyes and very calmly and gently said... Yes, there are two. In fact one is trying to come now. I very clearly see you pregnant in the next few months.
This was almost too much for a woman in my very fragile state to take. I sat in her victorian themed room, filled with bohemian jewel-toned treasures and the sacred tools of a wise woman and bawled.
She began... You know you can speak to your babies, they can hear you. Have you considered asking them to come to the front of the line?
Ask them to come to the front of the line? Is that possible? I wondered outloud.
Sometimes spirits get lost, just as we do. They need to hear your voice to guide and return them. Talk to them and tell them to come to the front of the line, they will hear you. You are their mother after all. Her voice was nurturing and she seemed so convinced that I wanted in that moment so very much to believe her.
I left her room filled with hope and gratitude and with my friend's hand in mine we immediately went to a bar to drink about our experience.
A few days later I found myself sitting in freeway traffic and decided then was a good time to have the conversation. I spoke to the spirit babies who had been trying to arrive and asked them to come to the front of the line. I explained that I was ready to meet them, if there were indeed two, and be with them and travel through life together.
I can only imagine what it must have looked like for LA commuters on the 110 freeway to happen to look into the windows of my silver Jetta and see a woman sobbing and talking to.... the air. But then again, this is Los Angeles; I am sure it's not uncommon.
True to Pam's prediction, three months later I found out I was pregnant with Isabella.
When my first baby was just 16 months old my second daughter Mia, found her way to the front of the line. When people ask a parent of siblings if there are noticable differences between their babies it seems almost silly to answer... Mia was different the moment I found out I was carrying her.
With Isabella, I held onto hope. With Mia, I buckled in for the ride. I had a deep knowing that she was coming, and that she was coming to be with her sister. There was nothing that was going to stop this child. She missed her sister and had been called. I trusted this truth in my bones.
When I first met Mia on Easter Sunday 2010, I looked in her eyes and knew she had been here before. Her gaze was almost eerie. It's not anything I can explain other than I recognize her presence as one having returned.
I sometimes think of that Shirley Temple movie I remembered so fondly as a girl and the connections the children on the island made with each other. I think about how sad they would be when the ship came to take their best friends away.
I wonder if my girls held hands together long before I called for them to come to the front of the line. I believe that they did and I feel like one of the greatest roles I have in their lives is to instill the importance of their relationship to each other and that they continue to hold hands in this life.
One way I do this is by documenting their connection through photographs. These moments I witness through my lens will be theirs to remember throughout life, one of my greatest joys is to be able to gift these sweet slices of childhood to them to do with as they wish.
My own sister wasn't born until I was 22 year old, but I believe that sisterhood is the most sacred relationship a girl will ever know. My hope for my girls is that throughtout their individual life journies, that they will always return to the connection that began for them... long before they were called to the front of the line.