Looking Back

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Ellen — five years ago you were our little one-year-old knee walker.  Today you are six.

I remember you rocking back and forth on your knees while Amabel literally ran circles around you.  I remember you babbling your first words while Amabel litterally talked circles around you.  You watched and listened to her for so long — and then finally stood up and started to walk and talk yourself.  And now, if I dare say, your sister watches and listens to you with a measure of attention equal to what you’ve always given her.

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This is a gift of mothering: to watch the give and take between my girls.  It is as if you were made for each other.  To challenge one another.  To support one another.  To act as a steady counterbalance as you both grow and learn.  Or maybe you are so close because of the sheer volume of time you’ve spent together from the very beginning?  You’ve grown like two sister trees, side-by-side.

I was afraid that going to school last fall would change the dynamic between you and Amabel.  But it hasn’t.  Not really.  Not any more than the constant shifts you both experience — the ebbs and flows of moods and needs.  Actually, I see how school has brought you closer in many ways.  One of my favorite parts of the school day is listening to you exchange stories in the back of the car on our way home.  I learn so much about your experience at school when I hear you and Amabel compare notes.  You have new friends, new teachers, new questions, new stories.  But at the end of each school day, you have each other.  You share a frame of reference, a home, and a family.  And school makes us all even more grateful for our time together.

Happy Birthday, little knee walker.  We love you.

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