It is dusk as I write this. Voices are carried in to me on the cool fall evening air, of sisters completely immersed in a world of their own making. They are dog trainers, each leading our two dogs around on leashes (very compliant dogs!), setting up obstacles for them and, I am sure, offering them way too many treats for their labors. Soon they move on to their “horse game”, which involves turning the dog houses into horses with the aid of chair cushions and rope (which are saddles and stirrups/bridles, of course!).
These two sisters, nine and seven years old, are ready playmates, eager for each other’s company, engaging in an ebb and flow of play that moves from dog trainer or horse riding to telling stories with figures like Lego Friends or My Littlest Pet Shop, to classic games like office and school or piano teacher and art teacher. Often they play all of these in the space of one afternoon!
About nine months ago, we separated the girls’ bunk beds into two twin beds. Soon afterwards, I began finding them in the same bed in the mornings. The beds have gone back to bunk beds, but the girls are still choosing to share the bottom bunk, using the top for playing or late evening reading.
They have their difficult moments, of course. They argue, hurt each other’s feelings. Their personalities could not be more different.
Yet day by day, game by game, make believe world by make believe world, they are knitting their hearts together.