Saturday, June 7, 2014


Friends have been on my mind lately, namely Abby's friends. Abby is the quintessential people person and her friends are incredibly important to her. She loves playing with other kids and takes every opportunity to do so. We have a core group of friends that Abby has grown up with and I have so enjoyed seeing them play together throughout the years. Even when they fight with each other, I find myself smiling because these friends are the closest things to siblings she has.

In the last year I've noticed something though. The crazy kid parties of the past have gotten a bit quieter as the kids' interest shifts from things like dolls and dress-up to video games and friendship bracelets. All of the kids are getting older and more mature, and I love to watch that as well. The thing is, Abby is still very much interested in those dolls and ball gowns. Earlier this week I was feeling a bit down thinking about how there may come a day when Abby's friends' interests have gone beyond her own, and that day may be sooner, rather than later. My fear was that her friends would leave Abby behind in their race to grow up. Then a couple of things happened, and both had to do with dance.

Since September we've had Abby in a tap/jazz class. To say that she loves it is a bit of an understatement. She will wake up on a Monday and ask right away, "Dance today?", and I have to tell her that it isn't for another couple of days. It has never been a problem to get her moving on "Dance Day", unless it's to get her going once class is over and we have to go home. The tights, leotard, shoes, and music are right up her ally. She also loves to go see "her girls" - the term she uses for the other girls in the class. When she started the class she didn't know any of them, and they didn't know her. Those wonderful girls embraced her wholeheartedly and welcomed Abby into their dance crew beautifully. They encourage her, they miss her when she isn't there, pray for her when she's sick, and  they help her stay focused when she lets the music move her a bit too enthusiastically. That class is wonderful.

Wednesday was Abby's last class until Fall and I was sad to hear that some of the girls from the class would be moving on to the more advanced class next year. I think that the office manager of the studio could see my disappointment because she laughed and said, "Abby will do great! It won't be a problem for her to be with new girls. You know, because she has such a hard time making friends." The last bit was heavy with sarcasm and had me laughing too, because making friends has never been one of Abby's struggles. This thought stayed with me this week and was driven home more poignantly today.

Today we had dress rehearsal for tomorrow's dance recital. Abby was thrilled to be able to get her costume on, but even more so that Mom was letting her wear eyeshadow and lipstick! As soon as we walked through the door of the auditorium I heard a voice call out, "Abby!" I looked up to see a beautiful ballerina trotting toward us in order to give Abby a big hug. Abby was then quickly surrounded by about four other girls who were waiting in a line to practice their dance. You see, some of the girls in Abby's class also take ballet and they were so happy to see her that they made a point to greet her. Abby was thrilled to see them as well and couldn't take her eyes off the yards of blue tulle that floated around them. My heart swelled as we went to find a seat and watch her friends dance.

I continued to watch Abby as she ooh'd and ahh'd over all of the costumes and girls that walked around the auditorium. She told people how beautiful they looked and I watched the girls and their mothers stop and revel in her praise. Eventually, she made her way to the front row of seats and clapped and cheered loudly as each class finished their dances. After her turn on the stage she took time to photo bomb a few pictures of a group of older girls she'd never met. It was those same girls that moments later involved Abby in a game of Ring Around the Rosie - a game that I suppose was purely for Abby's benefit. They did get a bit concerned when she followed them to the wings of the stage, but I assured them that I wouldn't let her join them on stage.

Today drove home the fact that I have no need to worry about Abby not having friends. She has some pretty spectacular friends already, but she also has an amazing ability to draw people to her. Abby will never be without friends because she genuinely loves people, and others see and respond to that. Once again Abby proved to me that my worries are needless. It isn't the first time....and I'm sure it won't be the last.
Rather confident, wouldn't you say?

Jazz hands!!

Abby loves tying shoes. She is still learning how, but she likes to
be helpful too. One nice girl in her class let Abby "start" tying her
shoes today. Have I mentioned how much I love that group of girls?

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