Friends From Afar

“Where’d they go?”, Abby asks, her face saddened. She had been watching two little girls, sisters, running around next door in their flowered dresses with great intent. Following their every move from window to window.

My daughter lives in a bit of a friend bubble with her brothers since she has yet to attend school. I’ve often wondered if I should schedule more playdates, or any at all. Whenever we go to a playground or park, she’s always been more of a watcher than a participator. She likes to sit on the sidelines and sheepishly grin at the ruckus the other kids cause. I’ve wondered if I was scarring her social growth.

Abby has just recently taken a keen interest in her older cousin, the only other little girl in our family, 4 years separating their age. Slowly coming out of her shell, where once she’d be too timid to join in, they now sit enthralled, if slightly perplexed, by one another. Digging through a collection of small bottles of nail polish and lipglosses and everything pink. An older cousin who understands because she has 2 older brothers herself. Except she doesn’t get to see her often enough, then of course doesn’t want to leave once there. And when Abby comes home, it’s back to fighting bad guys and Incredible Hulk.

She’s a girl who can do it all, except move away from the window.

“There she is!”, Abby exclaims gleefully. My daughter sits perched, patiently watching, until the pair notice. “She sees me!”, she declares, beaming. Soon enough, they’re gesturing and making funny faces at each other through the closed window. Until it’s time for them to leave, my daughter’s new friends she’s never met, where they wave their goodbyes until next time. Maybe, then, in person.

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