Clare has girlfriends. It is so cute. One of my biggest fears for Clare is that she will have a tough time making friends. And she may in the future, who knows. But I love the innocence and acceptance of small children. They do not know there is anything different about Clare. They do not notice that Clare cannot walk or talks just a little bit. They just love her for who she is.
I have two close friends whose daughters are just a couple months younger than Clare. Sometimes it is hard for me to see these girls because it reminds me of how Clare "should" be. Walking, talking, eating, doing all those typical almost-two year old things. It's hard to see children younger than Clare far surpassing her in development. But then I am also so profoundly grateful for the friendships of these moms and the kids. I know both Clare and I benefit greatly from knowing these wonderful ladies and their daughters. One of them is in my regular playgroup, so we see Emily and her mommy often. The other day, Clare and Emily were bouncing on a small trampoline together (it really was small and Clare was being a good girl and holding on tightly to the bar). Emily was doing all the actual jumping, being much (much, much) more agile on her feet than Clare. Clare was along for the ride and loving every minute of it. At one point, she turned to Emily with a huge grin on her face and just started babbling. And Emily babbled back. The mommies all went "awwwww."
At church yesterday, we were already settled in our pew when Clare's other girlfriend and her family came in. They sat a few pews behind us. Clare immediately spotted Cara and became so excited. She stood gripping the back of our pew and greeted Cara quite loudly, much to the amusement of everyone around us. I was amazed that Clare actually recognized Cara from a few pews up, not to mention that she clearly was happy to see her. Cara is so sweet and always wants to hug Clare whenever she sees her. All parents want their children to be loved and have friends, but I know I want it the mostest (as Jamie would say) and it's warm and snuggly to see Clare be loved.