I shouldn’t have been surprised when my daughter ended up sick on Halloween. She has a long history of celebrating the holidays with a swig of Children’s Motrin instead of a sip of sparkling apple cider. She’s missed Thanksgiving because of the stomach flu, Easter because of strep throat and a class field trip because of the croup. She spent her first visit to Disneyland sick in the hotel before we finally gave up and headed home early. She’s not ill that often, but when it happens, she makes it memorable.
This bout with a Halloween virus was certainly memorable but for a different reason. Yesterday afternoon, my daughter’s friend rang our doorbell to deliver a surprise that rendered us speechless; her group of buddies used their own haul of Halloween candy to fill a trick-or-treat bag for my daughter.
Apparently, as soon as word spread on the playground that she was going to miss out on all the fun, the girls started planning how they were going to bring a smile to her face. It worked like a charm. I’m also smiling, grateful that my daughter has found her tribe of girlfriends.
Fourth grade seems to be the age of discovering the joy of true friendship. Instead of enduring mom-scheduled playdates that simply help fill the day, she is choosing her friends and developing an appreciation of girls who share a fondness for bad jokes and tree forts. These girls — who greet each other every morning with big, squealing bear hugs — have built a fun, inclusive, drama-free friendship.
I can’t wait for my daughter to feel better so we can invite her friends over to play. I’ll make a batch of cookies as a thank you and send them out back to build a fort, tell some jokes and maybe even consult with fairies to create a spell to eliminate the dreaded holiday sick jinx.