Our next door neighbors have an adorable little boy who is one month younger than our Bug (obviously, this is the nickname for our sweet baby girl – we would never actually name a child Bug…we have more creativity and class than that. Unless we were to have 20 kids like the Duggars, in which case all bets are off. Because at that point I think you are excused from having to come up with actual names). Sorry….back to the topic at hand. Precious little boy next door…go. So, they of course, are fast friends and take every opportunity to play together. The other day, as we pulled into the neighborhood, Bug asked to go play with her friend if he was home. We drove past his house towards our driveway, and she began to bounce excitedly in her car seat while calling out, “Yep, he’s home!” when she saw his father’s truck.
We unloaded the car, lugged our wares inside and had a reluctant potty break (her, not me. After delivering three children, I am ever at the ready for a potty break). Finally, she was ready to go. I made the normal mommy noises about only playing briefly until dinner and when she nodded her understanding, I began to walk her to the door. Her big eyes and little hand stopped me. “Mommy”, she declared, “I can go by myself.”
“Are you sure?”, I asked.
“Oh, yes!”, came the enthusiastic reply, “I’ll just walk right over and ring the dingle. Then, I’ll ask my friend to play.”
And off she went – out the front door, down the steps, across our lawn, then onto their lawn, to their walkway and finally front step.
As I watched from the porch, then followed at a discreet distance until I saw her enter the house, I found myself awed and grateful. Awed at this perfect miniature creature marching with confidence across the grass, skirt flouncing, curls bouncing, full of fun and fire as she made her way to an impromptu play date. And grateful, so very grateful that, for this lifetime, at least, I get to call her mine. I get to be a part of her phenomenal and unfolding existence.
I sent up a prayer of thanksgiving – thanks that she is here, thanks that she can walk herself where she wants to go and thanks for her freedom and confidence and zest for life. I prayed for the protection and preservation of all those things. For her spirit and heart – that they remain unbroken and pure. That she remains a confident seeker of fun and companionship, never doubting her worth or welcome. Always marching towards her goals with a spring in her step and a song in her heart – and staying sure of a life worth living, worth experiencing, worth every episode that results when she looks at the door in front of her and stretches out her hand to ring the dingle.
Solidarity sisters – some days we just need to initiate the play date.