I didn’t realize how much Ellie misses Mya while she’s at school, till tonight. After dropping Mya off at school, when we come home, to a quiet house, Ellie crawls up the stairs and sneaks into Mya’s room. She runs to her bed and lays her head on the sheets. She yells Mya’s name (“iya iya”) and sits on the soft carpet of Mya’s floor and plays with Mya’s favorite dolls. Throughout the day, Ellie wanders the house, finding toys in cupboards, holding stuffed animals that she knows have been recently loved by Mya, but aside from these moments, it was tonight before bed, that I saw it.
After bath time, both girls smelling like soap with wet hair, they cuddled on our bed. Ellie laid her head on Mya’s stomach and laughed. Not because she was being tickled, or because something funny had happened, but because her ultimate joy was with her again. The look in her eyes, almost of sense of ease, was palpable.
This summer I have seen growth in Ellie with almost every day, her physical strength, her interaction, milestone upon milestone. And while I could site age or timing, I strongly believe it was the constant presence of her older sister. We attend a weekly physical therapy class and in the beginning of class we sing songs that ask for actions, a clap or a stomp. Ellie watches during class and occasionally gives a clap, but tonight on our bed Mya started waving her legs back and forth, stomping on the bed, and Ellie followed her direction precisely. Mya tickled Ellie making a “tick tick” sound and Ellie repeated her action and sound immediately. She copied Mya identically.
When we were giving hugs goodnight, my squirmy Ellie could hardly be held by Travis and I, yet I placed her on Mya’s chest and she quietly rested her head on Mya’s shoulder, a glow in her eyes, a break in restlessness. These girls were meant to be sisters, forcing me yet again to believe in the amazing powers of fate. Mya was born to be Ellie’s older sister. A fate destined well before they even met. How lucky am I to see their relationship, to see them grow from each other, to see true love at such a young age. The greatest therapy has to be life and connections. The laughing of my girls tonight is echoing in my brain, I’ll keep it under my pillow to help me sleep, wishing I could bottle it up for rainy days.
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