This is the title on the gift that my daughter is giving away, tomorrow, and it had me sobbing in my car, twenty minutes ago.
Tomorrow, two of my nine-year-old’s best friends–twin boys that live within shouting distance of us–are moving across the country.
She’s had time to get used to the idea, and she has some other amazing friends who will all work through the adjustment, together. They are all off, basking in their last few hours together, as we speak. And they are great kids.
And that is why I found myself driving down Centre Avenue with tears streaming down my face like I’d just watch the trailer for The Fault in Our Stars. I’ve seen at least one of these boys on my front stoop, nearly every day for the past two years. I’ve cleaned up their blood and listened to their erupting laughter. I’ve watched them treat my daughter kindly, and with mutual respect.
I’m sure that they don’t remember, and maybe their mom doesn’t even recall, but these boys were on my daughter’s first sports team–a co-ed YMCA basketball team when they were four. And you know what I remember? I remember that the twins always tried to pass it to my girl, even though she was the only little girl on their team AND she was more worried about breaking a nail than she was about getting the ball. They cheered for her and included her. They were kind.
In the last two years, since they have become good friends, the boys have embraced my daughter’s half princess/half tomboy attitude. They ride bikes and scooters to “The Blackberry Patch” where they are detectives, solving garbage related mysteries. They have neighborhood wide scavenger hunts (I cannot even begin to say how amazing their mom is!) and they make crazy loom bracelets and ask my food allergy prone daughter over for dinner, often. They are thoughtful and polite–the kind of kids you want to have around.
They are exactly the kind of boys that you want your daughter to know, when she goes from being a little girl to a young woman–and that makes me both sad, and happy. I will miss them, and I know that she (and their other close friends) will miss them, and so I am sad that they won’t be right down the street. But I am also incredibly thankful and happy that when my daughter was just starting to figure out who she was, she knew some amazing, kind, sweet, sensitive, thoughtful, playful boys, who will inform the way she sees the opposite sex for the rest of her life. They couldn’t have given her a nicer gift.
Well, there I go, again with the tears. I expect that these won’t be the last tears I shed for my girl, when it comes to boys, but I sure am thankful to have had the chance to cry these.