“Thank you for being a friend,
Travel down a road and back again.
Your heart is true,
You’re a pal and a confidante.”

 — “Thank You for Being a Friend”
        Andrew Gold
        (If you haven’t already, you need to get on The Golden Girls train, y’all.)

Moving to a new home means you’ll have to make new friends.  For some adults, this can be difficult.  Adults have hangups, insecurities, baggage and preconceived notions which can make the process awkward and strained.  Adults are also busy, so finding the time to go beyond the initial casual stage of friendship to a deeper, more meaningful level is hard to do.  Children have none of these problems with making friends.  They think of themselves as basically awesome and wonderful in every way, so why wouldn’t everybody want to be friends with them?  And they have no prejudices about other children, either, so they get to skip the awkward stage of making friends and go straight to playing, pretending, running, jumping, climbing and laughing with everyone on the playground. 

Evie is a good example of how this works for children.  Almost everywhere we go, she makes a friend.  I believe this is an advantage of putting her in daycare for the first three years of her life.  She is very social and loves to play with others. (Of course, she sometimes needs a little time to herself to recharge.  She’s a good mix of her Auntie, a wide open, bordering on pathological social butterfly, and her mommy, an introspective, bordering on unsettling weird girl in the corner.)

Would you like to meet some of Evie’s friends that she’s met in Florida?  Okey dokey!

 
Charlie and Evie having a snack at Clearwater Beach.  Charlie’s parents, Alex and Oolie, are from Russia, but they all live now right across the way from us.  Charlie and Evie’s bedroom windows are directly across from each other, so Oolie and I can share in the process of putting our babies to bed.  Incidentally, Oolie is one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever seen.  I wouldn’t ever tell her this, however, because it might make things between us awkward and strained (see above).  Charlie is teaching Evie and me Russian: “zabor” is the Russian word for fence.  Evie and I are teaching Charlie Redneck:  “whuuut?”  is the Redneck word for “vaht?”

Evie and one her preschool friends, Meghan, on a bicycle built for two.  As you can see, these are two of the cutest little girls that exist on the planet today.  But I digress.  Because Evie only goes to school three days a week, her class is small.  Apparently, the thing to do is send your three-year-old to the Dolphin class, which meets five days a week.  In hindsight I wish I would’ve done just so since Evie doesn’t want to come home when I pick her up, she loves school so much.  Anyway, the Starfish class, which meets Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday consists of Byron (the only boy, bless his heart), the above-pictured Meghan, Chyler, Gianna and our Evie.  Each day after I pick Evie up, I ask her three questions: 1) What letter did you learn today? 2) What was your favorite thing you did? 3)Who was your favorite friend?  She eagerly answers the first two questions, but seemed confused by the third.  Finally, one day she answered in a slightly exasperated tone, “Mommy, they’re all my friends.”  Point taken.

Evie and Julia in princess dresses.  Julia complained that the Aurora dress was scratchy, which Evie had never mentioned.  I guess maintaining your regal composure while wearing uncomfortable, cheap Disney costumes separates the real princesses from the commoners.  We love Julia anyway.  Even though she’s four years older than Evie, Julia comes over often from her house around the corner to play with little Evie.  They color, play computer games, do lessons on Evie’s chalkboard and make a complete mess with Evie’s dolls and dollhouse.  They share a deep love of macaroni and cheese, too.  One day, Julia and another little boy, Zeke, knocked on our door and asked if Evie could come out and play, and I had another in a growing series of “holy crap, I really somebody’s parent” moments.  By the way, now and again Julia will abruptly get up from playing with Evie and just go home.  Maybe she gets bored or has thought of something else she has to do.  Gill thinks this is weird, but I think it’s awesome and wish I could do it sometimes myself.   

 

Meet Nate, who is possibly Evie’s boyfriend.  Here they’re involved in some activity that requires bicycle helmets and sticks.  I don’t ask questions, y’all.  I just sit in my office chair in the driveway with my Diet Coke and supervise.  Nate is so cute with Evie.  One day she was riding Nate’s younger brother, Luke’s, bike and fell a couple of times.  The third time Nate rode up beside her and purposefully fell down too.  Evie stopped crying and started laughing uncontrollably with Nate.  Awww!  Nate’s dad is Trevor who often comes out to supervise with me and eat giant Tupperware bowls full of yogurt and blueberries.  Trevor and his wife, Christie, are from North Carolina as well.  After Evie and I returned from our recent trip to NC, Trevor wanted to make sure we ate vinegar-based barbecue and that the coleslaw had no sugar in it.  I like Trevor.

I’m glad Evie has made new friends here.  I’m also excited for the day when she grows up a little and meets her first best friend.  They’ll sleep over at each other’s houses, share clothes, practice dance routines in front of the mirror, get sick from eating too much raw cookie dough, spend countless hours on the phone, giggle and gossip about boys, fight and make up but always have each other’s backs. You never forget your first best friend, do you?  I bet you’re thinking of yours right now.

**Which she won’t because of 1) the massive time suckage issue; 2) the fact that Facebook once emailed me to ask why I didn’t have more friends.  I don’t need that in my life, people. 

 

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