Not easy. But important.
Our Abby-girl said good-bye to her best friend today.
Let me clarify, I am not big on the terms "best friend" or "bestie" or "bff." Paul and I have discouraged our girls from using these phrases and instead, tried to encourage them to consider the feelings of all the children who consider themselves to be their friends. Not one friendship is any more important than another. Each of their friends is special to them in their own unique and wonderful way.
But in this instance, Our Abby-girl said good-bye to her best friend today.
Abby and her twin sister Violet were inseparable at kindergarten and in their first months at school. I was glad for them that they had each other, that miraculous twin-bond, but also sad that they weren't included in the other children's games. There weren't many birthday party invitations cluttering the fridge under bulky magnets in those days. It was as if the girls had a little sign over their heads which read, "already taken...don't bother."
Then at some point in their first year at school, the teachers decided to put Violet in one class, leaving Abby in the other. The theory was to encourage Abby to come out of her shell, to find a place away from her older, bigger, louder twin's shadow, to develop an identity of her own.
And it worked. She came out of her shell and at the same time developed a bond with her friend Kaitlyn who happens to live just down the street from us. Abby and Violet have been together in classes ever since but Abby's bond with Kaitlyn has stuck. And in one of those ways that only God could have conceived of, our entire family has developed a bond with Kaitlyn's family. They have become more than friends; they are our community.
So in fact today, we all had to say good-bye to our friends.