My Sister Emily

Okay, a bit of explanation- I just read my sister's latest entry on her blog and went to comment. Then my comment turned into a novella, so I decided to post it here for all to see. To my other sisters- this entry in no way implies any kind of sibling favoritism (which is an easy nut to crack, since you all know that cold, hard cash is the best way to buy my brotherly respect). It was just the best way for me to comment on her entry. It's largely for Emily, but maybe everyone can enjoy it too. If you're jealous, don't be. Just pay up.

To Emily:

You know what I think? Maybe you have lost some of that edge that you used to have out in Utah and when you first left home. But here's how I see it. All the colors of your life and personality were there, but they were spread out horizontally, like a rainbow-colored oil slick in a puddle (but not gross and slimy :). Your colors just spread out in concentric circles.

Now, at this stage of your life, all the colors are still there, they are just arranged differently, more vertically. It's like a tree with its layers and rings; whereas the oil slick Emily was 2D and shallow, the tree Emily is 3D and the rings and layers go up and down and are deep.

If that's unclear, let me try this: Utah Emily (as I will refer to your pre-marriage self) is like a kid in a brand new candy store, wanting to try everything at once because it's all so bright and colorful and wonderful. You want the rich chocolate, the tangy Sweet Tarts, the chewy gummy bears, the smooth Reeses Pieces, and multitudinous wonder of Jelly Bellies. You want some of everything because you've had none of anything, so to speak.

But now, several years later, Attic Emily (as I will refer to you since returning to MO and getting married) has "been there and done that," in a manner of speaking. You've tasted the M&Ms and Snickers and Smarties and Skittles and Jujubees and Mike and Ikes and Twix and Heath Bars and so on and so on, and you've been able decide which ones you like best. Yeah, Skittles are fun and colorful and Heath Bars have that awesome toffee taste, but nothing satisfies your candy craving like M&Ms, so that's what you go with.

You still like variety, but time and experience ave enabled you to deepen and enrich and develop your tastes. You've moved beyond the ADHD kid in the candy store and become a connoseiur. And that's totally natural. No one person can be everything at once, so he or she has to pick the few greatest things and go with that.

Third example, also relating to food (funny thing is, I'm not that hungry): Grinders. We all love them, we all can't get enough. But you always get the same one. Yeah, the others might be good, but you know the Turkey Reuben brings you joy. So there's comfort in choosing what you know will work. Relating that to your life, maybe it would be fun to be a writer or movie critic or painter. But right now, you know that photography and cupcakes and Noah and Joe and being a wife and mom are what bring you joy. So that's what you go with.

Emily can't, couldn't, or could never be a: writer, photographer, painter, drawer, musician, teacher, baker, chef, singer, banjo player, working professional, wife, stay-at-home mom, homemaker, woman in a power suit, reader, movie devourer, etc. all at once- you'd go bonkers just trying. So what circumstance, time, and experience have led you to do is take those few which you love best or are most dear to you (at the present time, I'd choose mother, homemaker, photographer, teacher, and wife) and make the most of those. You have to select some of your ambitions to be expendable, especially now that you have a husband and baby boy counting on you for so much. Thank your lucky stars that you have a great husband who allows you to indulge those precious few aspects of yourself that time and means will allow.

In time, those things to which you devote your time and energy may change. You may put the camera aside for a bit and take up a pen or paintbrush. But for now, you go with what works.

Trying to bring this full circle, let's go back to the colors analogy. Old Emily is that 2D painting- so many colors but with no depth. New Emily is like that picture, made into a sculpture. Your tastes and preferences have been honed and whittled and deepened. The other colors are still there, they're just hidden for the time being. And maybe time will bring them out to shine once again.

This probably made no sense. I hope maybe it did. I fear that trying to elaborate more will only cloud what I was trying to say. And I'm not trying to play "shrink" and analyze your moods and thoughts and musings and explain them and such.

Essentially, sis, here's the moral: yes, you have changed. But you're so much more than you were. And what you are is wonderful and deep and rich and colorful. I know you are happy and are fully aware of all your blessings. I guess I just want to throw my two bits in the can and say that the person you are is awesome and wonderful and deep and rich and full. And we, the Lambsons, but especially Joe and Noah, are blessed to have you.

(and yes, I stole two of your pics from the family website)


emily said…
This is CRAZY. and by crazy, I mean, well-thought out, nicely explained, really generous of you to think of me in so much depth, talented picture-pirating, interesting analogies, well-written, made me think/smile/choke up/love you even more....
THAT kind of crazy.

Thanks. I love it.
Julina said…
Hear! Hear!
(actually, I have no idea how to punctuate that...)

I'm trying hard not to be jealous ;-)

Love you both.
Tamara said…
Steven- you must have been hungry for some sweets...or is it EMILY that is the sweet of the family? either case, there sure are lots of sweets on this post....and now I want skittles!

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