Social Butterfly

Clara’s first day of Montessori pre-school about 4 years ago was a crystal ball moment, revealing that my daughter was about to emerge from her shy-girl cocoon, and become a social butterfly.

When I picked her up on the playground that day, I asked how it went. “I have a FRIEND!!!” she squealed, proudly showing me the goods. Clara and her new BFF, Josie, were joined at the hip so tightly that Clara wouldn’t even let go to pose for a photo in front of her new school. “Take the picture with my FRIEND!” She insisted. It’s still one of my favorites.

Four years later, they no longer go to the same school, but if they had it their way, Josie and Clara would still be joined at the hip. The air buzzes around these two girls when they are together. They have danced together in puddles wearing bathing suits and rain boots, giggled half the night away during countless sleepovers, read each others diary secrets (what could these be at age 7? Really?) and welcomed baby sisters. Their friendship even survived an incident they have never been able to fully explain, which involved scissors and Clara with no bangs for about 6 months. They are truly over it, although Ian and I still find it awfully funny. “Dad, you don’t ALWAYS have to tell us ‘No scissors, girls,’ every time we see each other,” Clara told him at the last drop-off before he could even say it. “We KNOW!” When I found out a few weeks ago that Josie’s baby sister cut her own bangs off, I couldn’t resist pointing out to Josie’s mom: “This is proof! It’s genetic.” (I’m so glad she found that as funny as I did! It really helps when your kids’ friends have cool parents.)

With two weeks of Christmas break turning everyone stir-crazy, we welcomed an overnight visit from Josie this week. The only hard part was when it was time for her to leave. “I predict that within a minute of you two walking out the door, she will ask to have another friend over,” I told Josie’s mom. Sometimes I think I hear my social butterfly saying “Can I have friend over?” in my sleep. I have even caught our 2-year-old, Daisy, trying out the phrase: “Ky haffa frenn over?” She doesn’t really understand what she’s asking, but if Clara says it, that’s good enough. And it’s a lot cuter than a couple of colorful phrases she has started delivering with shocking enthusiasm. (“No, Daisy, that’s naughty,” I have to remind her. “We say ‘Goodness Sakes’ instead, ok? Please?”)

Last night, Clara was going through Josie withdrawal and couldn’t sleep. There’s only one thing to do in this situation. We found an old magic wand and I waved it over her head, sending her good dreams. She wished – hard – for a dream where she and Josie would go on a fabulous adventure trip together.

I didn’t hear another peep out of the pink and purple bedroom until morning. “Guess what, Mom?” she told me as she wiped the sleep out of her eyes. “It worked! But even better. The dream had Josie. And Disney World. And FAIRIES.”

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