Friday, August 25, 2017

I don't believe in Coincidences (Part II)

The Back to School Bash itself was only an hour and a half.  But it felt like forever. The worst part of parenting might be the knowledge that your kids will face heartbreak, and sadness and loneliness and there is nothing you can do to prevent them from feeling those things. The only knowledge that's semi-comforting is that you can help them weather it.

As I pulled up to the school for pick up, I could see my eager girl bouncing up and down on the curb. I couldn't tell if she was happy to be leaving, or happy about how the night went.  She bounced into the van and pronounced "I MET A FRIEND! And her name is RYLEE TOO!!"

Relief swept over me. "Tell me all about it. How did you meet her?"

"Well, I was sitting by myself eating pizza. That part was really sad. I mean, it's so sad to eat by yourself."

Me, still smiling, barely able to keep my heartbreak from rolling down my cheeks "And then what happened?"

"Well, I saw this girl sitting by herself too. So I inched down there until I was sitting next to her and I said hi and then we took pictures with the principal and now we're friends and we have the same name!!!"

She was gone an hour and a half, of which I cried for 45 minutes. She's come back with a brand new friend and a triumphant victory in being brave.  And with all of that, she had one run-on sentence of details to fill me in with.  That's it. That's all I got. But it was enough.

With a week to go until the start of school, she had two friends. Things were shaping up. And, in the meantime, we had a BF playdate.  The playdate (aka, BF's little sister's birthday party) was a success. It was a beach party and there is no better setting for Rylee to be her best self than when there is sand and water.

As we were driving there, I came to my senses and realized that I would be staying for the duration of this event. Immediately, I got sweaty armpits. Partly because it's summer in South Carolina, and partly because I had been so focused on Ry and her exciting day that I forgot to brush my hair or put on a clean shirt. The good news is that what I lacked in hygiene I totally made up for in charm. And for that reason alone, I am taking credit for Rylee's invitation to BF's back to school slumber party!

(This is the part in any story I tell where Troy starts to wonder why I've said anything about Coincidences and how long it's going to take to get there. That's when I roll my eyes and tell him to calm down, I'm getting there.)

So Joy Joy Joy! we still have one more event at school and a slumber party!!    Two more chances to meet kids before the first day of school.  We just might be able to breathe the first day of classes.

The last pre-season event was Meet the Teacher / Parent Orientation night.  The kids were dropped off in their homerooms with their other classmates while all the mom's and dad's got a the low down on things like "how to not be a moron in the drop off line" and other assorted threats...I mean information.

We dropped off Ry with her class and I got a sharp elbow in the rib cage. "Mom. That girl next to my teacher is also in my Sunday school class."  I tried to not to vomit glee all over her.

"Oh cool. Try to find out her name, ok?"  And off we went to find out about truancy.

(Ok, Troy. It's finally time.)

Fast forward now one night. It's time for the slumber party.  I am a jumble of nerves. But I've met the parents and they are solid people, so I'm not worried about any freaky business. I just have your run of the mill nerves. You know, where you send your kid off into a new friend situation and hope to high heaven that she remembers your advice about not singing made up songs about nipples this soon in a friendship. (Seriously, you gotta find out if your crazy is the same as other people's crazy before you start sharing some of your talents- i.e.: operatic style lyrics about body parts.)

Anyway. I walk up to the door and there in the entryway is BF and a girl I recognize.  I try to keep cool again, but on the inside I'm screaming like a 12 year old at a Bieber concert.

"Hey. Are you in Rylee's class?"

"Yeah. Just so you know, we don't have to bring backpacks the first day."

"Good to know. Aren't you in her Sunday School class too?"

"Uh. Yeah."

"Sweet. Have a fun night!"

I walked back to the car like a normal person. But again, on the inside, I'm 12 and The Biebs just touched my hand.

See. I don't believe in coincidences. I don't believe that one kid showing up in the same church group, then school class and then a random slumber party is a coincidence.  I believe that months ago God heard our pleas for friends in this new place. I believe that He orchestrated the meetings of these girls. I don't know if they'll all be friends in six months. But I do know this- God will send me reminders that He hears us, that He provides for us and that even though there will be sad and hard days ahead, He is preparing and orchestrating situations for our good.  

In the end, the first day of school was a success.  I asked Ry if she ate lunch with anyone she knew and she said "Yeah. Church Girl."   So I breathed a little easier.  Now we just need to work on getting that kid's actual name.

Much Love