As the girls grow older, some of our holiday traditions may be ending in the next year or two. I don't know how much longer Doodle will sit on Santa's lap; she does it for her sister's sake. Another tradition that likely will end in the next year or two is our annual outing to a walk through holiday lights display with our China Moms group. Saturday night's outing included 9 kids, ranging in age from 10 to 5. Several of our regulars couldn't make it this year. The 10 year old (who is almost as tall as I am) and an 8 year old repeatedly declared that they were bored. Oddly, the three 9 year olds seemed to have a fabulous time, perhaps because they were spending more time chatting than looking at the lights. Tootle, the youngest in the group, didn't want to leave McDonald's, where we all grabbed dinner after seeing the lights, because she had just made a "new best friend." Our China Moms group formed 10 years ago, when some of us were waiting for our referrals. We've had fairly regular playdates ever since. When Doodle was young, these girls were her best friends (one stayed with us while her mom was in China for her second daughter, and several have vacationed with us). The girls all go to different schools and have diffrent interests, so they don't consider these friends to be their very best friends anymore (Tootle's overstatement notwithstanding), but the bonds are still strong. We moms agreed on Saturday that we'll have to come up with some activities that will keep the older kids amused. We've made tentative plans to go ice skating on Disco Night. Whatever we end up doing, I'm committed to staying connected with these friends as Doodle, and later Tootle, make their way through the tween and teen years. These friends understand what it's like to be adopted by/live with a single parent and be removed from your birth culture. I always tell the girls that they can tell me anything, but if they ever feel that they can't because it would hurt me, I hope that they will have these friends who understand them and can listen.
Cotton Candy Sky
9 years ago