Sat here this afternoon watching my girls play, I couldn’t help but feel a tiny bit jealous. Not just because of their big blue eyes, which I would swap for my boring brown ones in an instant, or of their super long eyelashes which I still can’t compete with after three coats of ultra lash mascara. Nor because of their thick blonde hair, a shade so perfect that no amount of highlights could ever achieve, or even their ability to pull off a pink tutu and tights combo. Admittedly I do envy them all those things but today, watching them play, I envy them that bond as sisters that nothing or no-one can ever compete with. Not even me.
From the first day that we brought Megan home from the hospital and Eva, just fifteen months, peered into the carry cot and smiled, I knew that they would be more than just sisters. They would be best friends too.
When Megan screamed for twenty four hours solid and the rest of us tore our hair out in despair, Eva would ever so patiently stroke her head and hold her hand and Megan would stop crying, albeit momentarily, to gaze up at her big sister with such love that it totally amazed me.
Eva fast learned to become a voice for Megan, telling us what Megan wanted long before she found her own words. “Megan wants chocolate!” she would declare, her face so serious as she held out her hand for the treat. “Megan doesn’t like that one” she would say as she stuffed that same treat into her own mouth while her baby sister simply stared in adoration.
As Megan finally found her feet they began to run rings around each other, holding hands and squealing with delight. They communicated in a way that only a one year old and a two year old possibly could – through made up nonsense and gibberish, funny faces, kisses and cuddles.
There would be days when they would literally just sit side by side pulling faces back and forth until they collapsed in hysterics. I would watch in complete awe at their ability to entertain themselves like that, sometimes even just sitting in complete silence, holding on to each other like their lives depended on it.
“Are they twins?” people would ask when Megan was a tiny newborn asleep in the carry cot and Eva beside her, chattering away, eating a sandwich. ‘Are you insane??’ I would think, and yet smiling politely would tell them, ‘No, fifteen months between them!’ like a broken record. But slowly as they grew I noticed that all of a sudden there really wasn’t much difference in size anymore, that Megan actually weighed MORE than Eva and that to an outsider they did look very much like twins indeed! “Ahh twins, how lovely!”, people comment. “Double trouble!” they exclaim, and I smile and I nod and sometimes it’s just easier to agree!
Lately I have taken to hiding in the kitchen so as not to interrupt their conversations. With my ear pressed to the wall I can listen to them chattering away together and yet the spell is instantly broken when they sense me listening and I realise that yet again, this is a bond I can’t possibly compete with.
And yet despite such closeness, and their angelic little faces, they can literally fight like cat and dog! There are days when Megan attacks Eva with such brutal force that I have to physically separate them for their own safety! There are moments when they run to me, sobbing hysterically, a handful of long blonde hair in one little fist and a scratch down the others face. An argument over a crayon last year landed Megan in A&E, stitches across a gash in her forehead and a very sheepish looking Eva who insisted that “Meggy fell!!”. They argue over toys, over books, over who sits in which chair, uses which plate, drinks from which cup. They argue over who sits on which knee, whose turn it is in each game, over clothes, shoes….tiaras!! And don’t even get me started on the Anna and Elsa debate!!!!
But they also make up with such unabashed declarations of love, with ‘sorry’ and ‘I love you’s’ and endless hugs and kisses. They nurse each others war wounds, lovingly rub away their daily battle scars, fall asleep in each others arms as though they are the only two people on the planet. “Megan is my best friend!” Eva will tell us, “Eva is a beautiful princess!” Megan will declare, for there is no greater compliment from Megan than that, “We are sisters!” Eva will explain, one arm slung around Megan’s shoulders, gazing at each other with nothing but love and pride and my own heart fit to burst.
I expect that there will be many times in the coming years when they argue, when they fight over make up and clothes and…boys!! There may be times when they momentarily grow apart, when one feels left behind or neglected. There will be tears and tantrums and insults flung and I’m sure that we will all be caught in the crossfire. I can’t predict that they will stay this close forever, nor can I force them to remain best friends, but I can remind them of this time through the memories we make and the photos I keep. And when they are sulking over a lost lipstick, or a dress found slung at the bottom of a wardrobe, I can tell them that at one point in their lives they were the centre of each others universe, that they loved each other unconditionally and that the bond between them was unbreakable.
And I know that there isn’t a place for me in their sisterly bond, and I’m actually okay with that. If that means that there will be times in the future when they only want each other or there are secrets only for their sister to keep, then that’s fine with me too. For as happy as they may make each other, it makes me ten times happier just to witness it. Eva and Meggy. My beautiful girls. Sisters. Best friends. Our very own Anna and Elsa. But still….don’t even get me started on that one!!!