We happened to bump into one of Ophelia’s nursery pals at soft play the other day. Prior to seeing him, she was apprehensive of this new, loud place and we were close to leaving. Once she saw him though, she was immediately in literal ROFL hysterics for the following 30 minutes. Im not sure i’ve ever seen her laugh like that so much. This is a boy I didn’t recognise, nor have I previously heard her say his name, so clearly not a regular play mate. However his familiarity and nature was exactly enough in that moment, his presence simply telling her; it’s alright. That basic reassurance already evident at mere 3 years old, remains for the rest of our lives.
I think friendships, no matter your age, can really impact your life and wellbeing both positively and negatively. Trying to navigate those playgroup cliques and find a “fit” whilst finding you self isn’t an easy balance. It takes the right combination of self awareness and insight to be able to put yourself out there to make those connections, something that doesn’t get any easier as you get older.
As a parent, I already see these connections and explorations happening; influences in behaviour, interests and language that you never thought possible at 3 years old. The fickle nature of girls, where often “you’re not my best friend anymore” is muttered to me (by daughter, not a friend!)-which I incidentally don’t ever remember someone saying to me!
But equally, the clearness of those friends that are like siblings to you, that no matter what, you just get and tolerate each other, and despite your differences you never say a bad word about, unless it’s to their face, because you just know each other like that. Those are my favourites, and I think those are Ophelia’s favourites too.