Thursday 13 June 2013

Making Friends

Last week, we went on our first proper holiday since becoming a family of three. We took a whole week away from reality, and headed down to Dorset.
We rented a big, fancy house with some friends - and some friends of friends - and it was lovely. The house had a pool so we were able to take Ebony swimming everyday, and it was great to see her confidence in the pool growing in the short time we were there.
There was another little girl in our group of happy campers; a cute little girl called Shyloh. Shyloh is a few months older than Ebony, and the difference in development was most apparent in their language skills. Although Ebony now has a vocabulary of about 50 words, she rarely speaks around other people. She communicates mostly through grunts and angry gestures with the occasional hateful glare thrown in for good measure. Shyloh, on the other hand, talked non stop.
Her vocabulary was huge, and she knew all kinds of words. I think the most impressive word I heard her utter was "Windy!" as a gust of wind blew past us on the lawn. Shyloh and Ebony seemed to really enjoy each other's company and had fun playing together.
One night, as I was getting Ebony ready for bed, Shyloh came running into the room. She jumped straight onto the bed and started to bounce. Ebony scrambled up to join her, and the two of them spent the next ten minutes throwing themselves around while squealing excitedly. After the bouncing came to an end, I put some music on for them and they enjoyed an impromptu toddler disco. Ebony favoured her signature arm-thrust move, while Shyloh opted for the classic head bang.
It was so nice to see them playing together and having fun. It made me think that perhaps Ebony is missing out by not having any cousins she can play with on a regular basis. Obviously she has toddler friends, but it’s not quite the same as an impromptu toddler disco last thing at night.
Shyloh, with her extensive vocabulary, impressed me most when she described Ebony as her "friend". It was the first time another toddler has described Ebony as a friend, and it made my heart catch in my throat.
On the way back from Dorset, we called in to visit a friend. Her almost three year old also described Ebony as his friend, and again I felt overwhelmed. My darling little baby isn't a baby anymore, she's a friend. She's growing up, building relationships and starting to imprint upon her peers.
That night I lay in bed thinking about the future. I can't wait until Ebony first describes someone as her friend, and I can't wait to see the relationships she forges with other children. My mind raced forwards, imagining the first time she goes to a friend's for dinner, her first sleepover and her first falling out. It all feels like it will be a million years away, but I know it will be here in no time.
That is quite a terrifying thought, so for now I will concentrate on the fact that, right now - in this space in time, I am Ebony’s best friend. I hope it stays this way for a little while longer.

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