Tonight, I watched an episode of Max and Ruby with Madeline and Samantha snuggled on my lap. In the episode, Ruby was struggling to learn how to hula hoop and her friend was trying to help teach her. I couldn’t help but think of Emilie and her extreme talent for hula hooping. Emilie was not a very athletic girl. She wasn’t all that interested in playing sports or getting dirty. I remember one year I asked her if she would like to sign up for soccer and she said, “No, I don’t like getting sweaty.” Even as uncoordinated as she was, at three years old she had hooping down to perfection.
While watching the show, I couldn’t help but wonder if the girls remembered this about Emilie. Would they remember all the countless times they watched Emilie pick up her hula hoop and perform little tricks with it? Uneasy about what the answer might be, I asked them, “Who is the best person at hula hooping you have ever seen?” Madeline smiled at me and yelled, “Emilie!” I smiled back and said, “That is exactly who I was thinking too!” Inside I felt a relief roll through me. She remembered. Then Madeline turned her head towards me again and added with a slight frown, “I think she was only better at it because she was taller than me.”