Friday, June 10, 2011

Best Friend

Wife:  Hey, can you drop the kids off at school today?  There is no way we're gonna get 'em to the bus on time.
Me:  Yea sure.  I'll drop 'em off.  C'mon kids, Daddy is driving you to school!  Lets go.
... we arrive at school ...
Pings Teacher (PT):  Hey Pings Daddy!
Me:  Hey.  How's it going?
PT:  Really good.
Me:  Oh good.  Okay baby, gimmie a kiss before you go play with your friends.
Ping:  You no shave.
Me:  Fine, let me give you a kiss then.  *Ping runs off and starts playing with a little girl in the sandbox*
PT:  That's Elly.  She is Pings best friend.
Me:  What?!  She has a best friend?!
PT:  Yes.  Elly just decided that she likes Ping, and that they will be best friends.  And Ping LOVES it!
Me:  That's AMAZING!  She has wanted a "best friend" for so long now!
PT:  Yea, well, she is getting it.  She is playing super with all the kids now.
Playing in the school sandbox
Well, didn't that just make my day!

Ping has watched her brothers and sisters make friends, have play dates, sleep overs and what not.  And Ping KNOWS she didn't have that.  And she wanted it!

Unfortunately, her first few months were a little rough.  Remember the swearing in Mandarin?  Yea.  Imagine that, but in a class room with other kids.  She had started school within just a couple of weeks of getting to Canada.  So no English... what so ever.  IT was crazy that she wanted to go... but I think she felt safe in a big class of children... you know... far away from me.

But the point is, she HAS a best friend now!  The next week, she got invited over to a different girls house, and she went and had a great play date!  If your kids can make friends easily, then that's great... don't take that for granted because some kids really have to work at it.

Other Friends Mom (OFM):  Hey, you must be Pings Dad.
Me:  Yup, that's me.
OFM:  I'm Maggies Mom.  Ping had a play date with us yesterday.
Me:  Oh yea.  She had a great time.  She had been waiting ALL week for the play date.  Every day, "Daddy, I go to Maggies today?", "No baby, Wednesday".  "Okay, so I go now?!"  ... every day!  She was so excited.
OFM:  They played for 4 hours together - not one fight!
Me:  Awwwwesome!
OFM:  Yea, and I remember the play date the girls had about a year ago.
Me:  Oh.  Uh, yea sorry about that.
OFM:  No!  Don't be sorry!  Ping was so polite now!  She played so great.  It is AMAZING how different she is now, and now polite.  Oh so polite.
Me:  Well, thanks.  I know we've been working with her, and she seems to really have a desire to have friends, and to "no be rude" as she puts it.
OFM:  Well its working.

Oh the joys of parenting!  You work for hours, days, weeks, months, years to help raise your children up right.  To behave right.  To speak right.  To be polite.  Courteous.  Kind.  Etc.  And so often we see what still "needs to be fixed" and not always how far they have come.

Thankfully there are moments like these which can help reset your point of view and see your children through fresh eyes.

I'm so proud of how far Ping has come.  Some days, I don't have enough patience with her... most days I do. But the change has been so gradual from Angry Swearing Mandarin Truck Driver to loving daughter that some days I forget all the past behaviour problems, tantrums, or even that she is adopted.  All that fades away and she is just simply "my child"... so I can get mad at her and send her for a time out just like the other kids when she eats all my Jelly Beans in the cupboard!

I couldn't do that before.
Before, I just had to buy a new bag of Jelly Beans.


  1. Beautiful, this gives me hope that no matter how we (Journey and I) begin with love and instruction it will be okay! I am so happy for your sweet Ping.

  2. The change is so amazing in our children. Never be discouraged (any parent, either bio, adoption, or other) by where your child is in life... I know for myself, there were times where I though "This kid may actually never love me." But now, she is turning a little Daddy's girl. 180 degree change. The 1st one to the door when I come home always with a big hug and a 'I love you Daddy!'.

  3. You are so right, we really have to take the time to stop, celebrate and acknowledge the positives - instead of rushing on and focusing on what still needs to be worked on.

  4. It is so precious that she has her long-awaited best friend. What a wonderful thing for her and for you! It is also very good to hear. While we haven't had any swearing in Mandarin that we know of, there are definitely moments that make us wonder when it will get better and how she will ever do ok starting school this fall. Hope is a wonderful thing!

  5. Well, if you ever want to learn how to swear in Chinese, let me know. :-)

    Our children always amaze me with what they are able to overcome and adjust to. Just give 'em all a safe plaec to fall from time to time - and by the grace of God, they might just turn out OK. ;-)