44 My Brother Theodore Roosevelt
free summer activities in wood and field, to the picture-galleries and museums, or even to the wonderful Swiss mountains where they had to be so carefully guarded.
In the letters written faithfully to our beloved aunt, the note of homesickness is always apparent.
Our principal delight was in what we used to call "exploring" when we first arrived at a hotel, and in the occasional intercourse with children of our own age, or, as in Teedie's case, with some expert along the line of his own interests, but the writing and receiving of home letters stand out more strongly than almost any other memory of this time, and amongst those most treasured by Teedie and myself were the little missives written by our most intimate friend, Edith Kermit Carow, a little girl who was to have, in later days, the most potent influence of all over the life of Theodore Roosevelt. How little she thought when she wrote to her friend "Cone" from Redbank, November 19, 1869, "I was much pleased at receiving your kind letter telling me all about Teedie's birthday," that one day that very Teedie would be President Theodore Roosevelt and Edith Kermit Carow the mistress of the White House.
The old friendship of our parents for Mr. and Mrs. Carow, who lived with Mr. Carow's older sister, Mrs. Robert Kermit, in a large house backing up against the 14th Street mansion of Mr. and Mrs. Cornelius Van Schaack Roosevelt, was the natural factor in the relationship of the younger generation, and little Edith Carow and little Corinne Roosevelt were pledged friends from the time of their birth.
The "Teedie" of those days expressed always a homesick feeling when "Edie's" letters came. They seemed to fill him with a strong longing for his native land !
In the little note written on yellow, very minute writingpaper, headed by a satisfied-looking cat, "Edie" expresses the wish that "Teedie" could have been with her on a late picnic, and "Teedie," I am equally sure, wished for her presence at his eleventh-birthday festivities, which were described by my sister