She called her name eagerly as our girl entered the room, “I saved a seat for you next to me!”
The beckoner’s wide-toothed grin, permanent teeth exposed still struggling to emerge leant a dazzle to her eye; her genuine nature drew our sweet girl in farther. Months could elapse in our hectic lives when they did not see each other and it was if no time passed. Our girl tentatively entered the overwhelming atmosphere of the noisy birthday celebration and sidled up beside her…
Her friend, two words that are a salve for this mother’s heart. The contemporary word “friend,” devalued more readily than a foreign currency on the market exchange, is so commonplace it is hard, at times, to recognize when a relationship befitting of such a definition is right in front of one’s face. There it was and had been growing in its own unique. My girl sought shelter next to her confidant and enjoyed the comfort of loving company; as if all that pushed at her most vulnerable of places at that noisy party melted away in the dynamic of their duo.
The complex landscape of social interaction does not come easily to our girl; that does not mean she does not deeply desire it. Like a gardener tending her plot our rare beauty has worked tirelessly to sow the seeds necessary for the blossom of relationships between her and her peers to grow; and, like every gardener, she has had her share of weeds to contend with and flopped crops along the way. Sadly, she is often heartbreakingly lonely.
Many people, including the tiny ones, would much rather attend a flower show than hang out with the gardener who is messily putting in the work. The reality is we are all gardeners who struggle with some area in our garden–for some it is just more obvious than others. In gardening we produce the sweetest of blooms by caring enough to want them to grow and nurturing them, not by showing up at a flower show ready to admire all the beauty. Our sweet girl is the type of gardener who can’t even just show up at the garden show ready to admire all the pretty flowers, pick some out, and hang; she has to get muddy just to have the skills necessary to think about flowers. It’s a lot of work for her that she so bravely and willingly committed to–for the sake of some beautiful results.
Her sweet friend connected to our girl when they were but little things in preschool; their kind hearts and genuine natures transcend all the external noise. It matters not the deficits or developmental gap between the two, because they tend to what they have together–a beautiful blossom of friendship. I hope it is like this for more and I hope it continues for many years to come.