I’m sitting in my car in a parking lot writing this with tears in my eyes. My girl is eating lunch in a restaurant with a friend. Just her and her friend. I drove her, helped her order her meal, told her to text me when she was done and then I left.
I don’t know how this even happened. For the past 20 years I have been the one to arrange all of her social outings and activities. When she was little I arranged the play dates. I was the one that scoped out other children that I thought she might like to be friends with. Sometimes these play dates were successful sometimes they weren’t. Sometimes they turned into more play dates and sometimes the “friendships” lasted a while. All of those friendships, however, are gone. None of them lasted. From the time my daughter was little I was always the one to pick her friends and plan when and what they were doing. The problem was that I was trying to force the friendships. As she got older she preferred to be by herself and didn’t want to do anything.
That was true until last Friday. She came home from school and said she was going out to lunch with her friend on Sunday. I don’t know who arranged what or who reached out to who first but for the first time it wasn’t me. My daughter made plans to go out with a friend, a friend that she chose for herself
And here I sit in my car watching them. Two 20 something year old friends having lunch together on a Sunday afternoon. Talking, laughing, showing one another things on their phone. Two friends happy to spend time together.
Most children at an early age love to have friends and do things together. Mine never did. But in time, in her own time, it happened.