Both kids had friends over yesterday. As soon as the sun came out they burst outside into the front yard and made the most of the one hour reprieve from the doom and gloom we experienced this past weekend. Buoyed by their good spirits I went to the freezer and dug out some freezies to pass around, which put even bigger smiles on their faces. Warm fuzzies all around! (Oh, by the way, you can pretty much blame the Ottawa dandelion infestation on Edie – she is obsessed with scattering the little fluffy dead dandelion heads around in any way possible – via blowing, twirling, throwing, kicking – my neighbours must haaaaaate us). Anyhooo, they were loud. Their voices carried. Simultaneous games of tag/bubble blowing/ball/chalk drawing/scooter riding/dandelion spawning/hide and go seek/freezie headache competitions (yeah, odd) were underway. I became mother bear and initiated a mass killing of mosquitoes so they wouldn’t bite my charges (Edie of course welts up at the mere sight of a mosquito. Grace, ever in control, has somehow negotiated with the Don Mosquio that she doesn’t get bitten at all).
There was a sudden hush to all the activity. I stopped my mosquito whacking to see why the kid-commotion had all but stopped. There, at the end of the driveway was a mother, two daughters and son. They are a new family down our street who have just arrived from Kenya. I have said hello to them before, but we haven’t had much chance to interact because our kids go to different schools. I smiled and said hello, and the Mom, in her killer-amazing-you-are-so-much-more-exotic-than-me accent said, point-blank: Your kids are having so much fun. My youngest daughter is terribly lonely since moving here and I would like her to play with your children – please, is this okay.
Oh my god, all at once I wanted to cry, I wanted to hug this lonely little girl and tell her everything was going to be okay, that she would make lots of friends and it’s so hard starting over and that she has a beautiful smile and and and and......
Instead I stay composed and smiled and said of course she could join the girls and play, and said “Right, girls?” in that way only Mom’s can do. The mom said thank you, we exchanged information, and she said she would be back in an hour to collect her. The girls asked her if she wanted a freezie and that was that. Games resumed. Unfortunately the rain resumed as well, so they tumbled back down to the basement, with the new girl fully integrated within minutes, actually seconds, into their little group.
I’m not sure why this made me so emotional. I think it has something to do with me having some profoundly lonely moments as a little girl, and it just breaks my heart to see any child feeling that way. I think I was also extremely touched that this woman sensed that our family would be approachable enough to make such a, well, let’s face it - such a bold request in this day and age and to trust us with her daughter. I was also feeling all mushy inside knowing that we have the kind of kids that we can count on to make this little gal feel completely comfortable and include her in all the nonsense they were getting up to that afternoon.
I still feel a little choked up.