Friday, May 18, 2012

Follow Me

Shadow

Amabel is our early riser.  Her eyes open wide as soon as she stirs.  And as soon as her eyes are open, she begins to talk.  She has important ideas to share, dreams to recount, questions to ask.  She is ready to play.

Much later, Ellen slips out of bed, rubbing her eyes—her fuzzy hair like a halo around her warm head.  When Ellen wakes up, she listens.  She figures out where everyone is in the house.  Today she slowly pads into her sister's room, guided by Amabel's voice—chatting, singing.  Whatever her beloved Amie is doing, Ellen joins in effortlessly.  

This afternoon, I happen to catch the girls just as they run outside in their bathing suits (five minutes before Ellen decides she would rather wear nothing at all).  The sprinkler is on!  Amabel boldly leads the way into the spray.  Without hesitation, Ellen follows.  As Amabel gives a running commentary on their brave foray into the water, Ellen laughs and laughs, repeating her sister's directions.

Amabel creates a story line.  Ellen listens.  Amabel casts the characters.  Ellen takes her part.  But it isn't always this way.  Ellen has learned, from Amabel, how to be the creative director.  And Amabel has learned, from Ellen, how to follow along too.  

When I reflect on the things I have hoped to teach them, I realize that they have probably learned most from one another.  What an incredible gift.

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