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Making Friends

I started rehearsals yesterday for a show
I’m doing in a couple weeks. I haven’t done one (like,
a real one) for years and didn’t go looking for this one;
I’d sort of told myself I wouldn’t be seeking anything
like this until both girls were in school full-time. But this came
up, and it’s fast and easy, and most importantly, the theatre
is kid-friendly. The director has kids of his own, and when he
expressed a desire to do some daytime rehearsals I’d pointed
out I have Cora. “Bring her along!” he said.


Cora’s come with me to the studio
before, while I’ve taught. So she was ready for the
situation: she’d decided which studio she wanted to hang out
in, where she’d sit to watch me practice while she ate her
lunch, and which costumes to bring.

What Cora didn’t count on was another child.

A fellow cast-member also has a daughter just a few months older
than Cora, and I was hoping she’d bring her yesterday but
didn’t tell Cora just in case. While packing for the day,
though, I slipped a couple extra costumes and dolls in- for
sharing. Then I crossed my fingers.

We arrived first, and Cora was contentedly munching on a snack when
little Talia showed up. As soon as she walked in the studio Cora
ran and hid in a prop box and stayed there a good ten minutes.
Talia lurked in the doorway a bit, then gave up on pretending to be
subtle and just walked over to the box and stared inside. When this
didn’t change anything, Talia found her own prop box and
climbed inside. As the grownups moved to another studio for
rehearsal, the two girls were circling each other warily.

While we sang through music, I kept an ear out for any signs of
alarm – shrieks, cries, crashes, that sort of thing. Nothing
came up, though, and I began hoping they’d hit it off. An
hour and a half later we took a break and I wandered in to give
Cora her lunch.

The cutest sight in the world hit my eyes. Both girls were sitting
on the wood floor, quietly playing together. They were both dressed
up in purple ballerina costumes, and had decided lunch
couldn’t wait for Mommies – their lunch bags were
opened and food strewn about, clearly communal. They’d parked
themselves under a skylight, and as the light streamed down and the
dust motes danced around them, I reflected that this wasn’t a
bad way to spend a morning as a three-year-old.

Heck, it wasn’t a bad way to spend a morning as a grown-up.

When we left to head home for quiet time, the girls were plainly
sad to say good-by to each other. I’m sure they’ll have
time to play some more this week, and I’m glad for that;
it’s important for Cora to develop her own friendships
outside of Maddie’s world. But mostly, I’m glad to see
it happened at all, and happened without any of that Mommy
interference: “Oh, Cora, look, Talia likes to draw! You like
to draw, don’t you honey? Why don’t you draw something
with Talia?”

Sometimes I think I micro-manage too much.



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