Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Making New Friends

She's always been independent. She crawled and walked early, always eager to go out on her own and explore. She would often turn down our offers of hugs and kisses, preferring to dole out affection on her own terms. Her social interactions tended to take the form of parallel play, which was developmentally appropriate for her age.

Yet as she grew, her friends became more and more interactive while she stayed off in the corner playing by herself. The educator in me said not to worry. She's still young. Socialization is an ongoing skill and she will learn how to play with others on her own terms. The parent in me felt concern and worry that my child wasn't playing like the other children. (Even though she had no cares in the world. She was just happy to be in their company. Unless they approached her to play. Then she screamed at them.)

Then, slowly but surely she became more interactive. Playdates with her cousin started to include endless conversations between the two of them. There were even times that I would see my little one initiate a hug. Every night she would  talk about her friends, eager and excited to see them, even if once she did she chose not to actually play with them.

My worries have eased as I've watched her social skills progress.

Then last week at the playground she did something so "grown-up" that my eyes filled with tears and my heart burst with pride.

She made a new friend, all by herself.

While I pushed my little munchkin on the swings, another little girl (probably 3 or 4 years old) came and stood shyly next to us. I smiled at her, and told Stephanie to tell the girl her name.

"I Nefanie!" she proudly stated. The little girl responded "I'm B." And then ran off. Stephanie told me she wanted to play with B, so I told her to go ask her if she wanted to play.

I plopped her down, and watched her run after the other girl. I heard "Want to play with me?" and the other little voice responded "Sure!"

And just like that, the two of them ran off, happy as can be. They giggled, they chatted, they chased after each other. They slid down the slides, took turns, and enjoyed each other's company. When Dan came to stand next to me (we were having a family evening at the park) Stephanie ran over to him and exclaimed "Daddy, I playing with my new little friend!" Melt.

She's growing and learning and developing new skills every day. And I can't even begin to tell you how proud I am of her.


  1. Aw, how great!! That is definitely a pride bursting moment. :)

  2. That's great! My little one is only 2, and she's very independent, as well as dependent on me (does that even make sense?). She will likely be going to daycare soon, so hopefully she will learn to open up your little cutie.

    Thanks for stopping by and following, now following back. I am also having a hop this weekend, I hope you will share something too!


    1. Thanks for following back! I'll check out your hop :)

  3. ohhh my goodness. this is the cutest story ever. dont they melt your heart...?? i can hardly stand it sometimes. my heart is like a pile of mush sometimes.. =)

  4. A lovely story! I'm always awed that my daughter can walk up to another child and make an instant friend (it wasn't always this way). I'm also amazed at how big my heart gets when I witness my daughters connecting to the world - joy! Thank you! I found you on Write on Edge ...

  5. My son was very much like your daughter--preferring side-by-side play but not actually interacting. Watching him make friends now is always a delight.

    My "baby" (now 2.5) is the opposite. She is the social butterfly, who knows no strangers and will befriend any child of any age.

    Here via WOE link-up.


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