I was sitting at the school awards ceremony this morning and chatting with a dad I've enjoyed getting to know this year. He was asking about what we've learned these past two years. I thought for a moment, and then said, "It's enlarged us. Our girls are bigger now in the ways that matter." I went on to say that I've thought often over the past few years of how true it is that you can make a life anywhere. If you want to know people and share your life, you will find people that want to do the same.
I don't think we would have made a life here, nor would our girls have had their spirits and hearts enlarged it it wouldn't be for their friends from school.
The relationship I think about the most when I consider Ellie's heart being enlarged is the special one she shares with Nikki. Nikki has Kabuki Syndrome. More importantly, Ellie and Nikki love each other passionately. I don't think Ellie ever realized she could have such affection and endearment toward another person until Nikki came into her life. They've been together in the same class for two years. Their teacher tells me that Nikki says, "Me go Ieee house" about 1 million times a day. One of the most significant parts of the past two years was watching this relationship unfold.
Last week we took Nikki and her sister Holly to the park for a pizza picnic to celebrate the special part they've played in our lives.
One of Nikki's other favorite sentences to say is "Ieeee push me".
Ellie is only to happy to oblige.
I don't think there is any other spot where Nikki is happier than being pushed on the swing by a friend.
Here's Nikki's big sister Holly. She's been in Hannah's class the past two years too.
I love how 12 year old girls still love to hang out on the swings too.
This was "Twin Day" at school. Sasha found a special buddy this year in Heloise. They have very similar styles of relating. They love their Maplelea dolls and having playdates together. The great thing about this friendship is that Heloise's dad actually spent a large chunk of his growing up years living in Winnipeg! A "father-daughter" Winnipeg weekend is on the plans for the year, and we know these two girls can't wait!
Ellie has been surrounded by goodness this year.
She's had good friends surround her and fill her up!
Here are two special ones, Jordan and Elise.
Hannah has had the best exposure to different cultures, beliefs, and friendship styles. She had some friends from her class over on Friday after school. These girls are ridiculously funny, kind, and easy to be with. I also love that they let me hang out with them at the table and fill me in on all the "inside scoop" that Hannah may have ommitted telling me over the year!
This guy makes me laugh. He's been in Hannah's class for two years. His name is Christopher and he's my honorary son. I actually call him my son when I come to the school and shockingly, he seems to like it!
I don't think Hannah can imagine what the last two years would have been like without these faces.
This is Wesley. She was Hannah's very first friend. She has a huge heart bursting with empathy and compassion. The very first day of school last year she invited Hannah "in" and made all the difference. It's been neat for Hannah to spend time with her family and eat amazing food from the Philipines. Wesley's mom makes the world's greatest spring rolls. It's amazing to see what this family has accomplished having only immigrated to Canada a few short years ago.
Ellie's had friends around her that know how to have fun!
We've promised the girls that vacations in BC will happen so they can see the great friends they've made. Hopefully they'll keep in touch in lots of ways over the years. Who knows, maybe they'll end up life-long friends that had their little beginning during these past two years! You never know.