When Charly was almost 1 year old, she was walking only a few steps at a time and standing up mostly when there was something to lean on. One night I was sitting with Charly in my lap in the hallway while Elinor brushed her teeth. Up goes Charly to the bathroom too. She reaches up on the wall and grabs her toothbrush down from the whale toothbrush holder. She stands right next to Elinor and starts brushing her teeth too! First time on her own, right there beside her sister, she’s doing her own thing.
I’m struck by this because it’s the first time my girls are doing something together, both brushing their teeth for, I imagine, the first of many times. I catch a glimpse of a future where they are equals and they share time with each other and, I hope, they are good friends. I marvel at what I perceive as the adoration they have for each other already. Elinor loves to entertain Charly and Charly rewards her with laughter. “Elinor” is the first word Charly is actually trying to say. Elinor still thinks Charly belongs to her.
Soon, I know, they will start to fight in earnest. In that moment though, it felt like I could see past all of that and right to the heart of a life-long friendship. I was reliving my childhood and my relationship with my brother and praying they get to have what I do…someone who remembers me when I was wee.