Punkin has endured a lot in her young life - stares, comments, teasing, name-calling, etc. We even had to take her off her soccer team because her teammates were calling her names and the coach wouldn't intervene. The poor child would come home after practice, heartbroken, and sit in my lap for 20 minutes with body-wracking sobs. I tried to convince her to try Upward soccer, but she was so traumatized from the experience, she wanted nothing else to do with soccer.
Her best friend is such a blessing to her - A. has never once said anything about her skin. Even on Punkin's worst days, when her skin is cracked and bleeding, A. treats her just like nothing has changed. It's almost as if dear, sweet A. doesn't even see Punkin's eczema. A. accepts Punkin as she is, for who she is - who she is on the inside, not the outside - and loves her unconditionally.
Puddin has also become close to A.'s younger sister, G. - she says G. is the little sister she's always wished she had. Here's a recent pic of the four of them:
Today, the best friends spent the day together.
Tomorrow, A. and her family move to Albuquerque, NM.
Punkin was okay for most of the day, even while knowing that A. is moving. We wanted the last day before A. and G. moved to be a memorable one, so it started with Puddin's soccer practice, topped off with ice cream at Braum's. Next up was seeing Tangled at the movie theatre, complete with popcorn and drinks. Several hours at Chuck E. Cheese's followed (I remember now why I don't go there on the weekends!), and the foursome closed their busy day with an early dinner at McDonald's.
To say they were all exhausted would be an understatement.
We arrived at A. and G.s house that evening to find the movers in full swing and the house appearing sparse. The girls all enjoyed playing in the already-empty living room, and performed several dances for the parents. We parents took advantage of our last chance to chat (at least in person, for a while). Finally, I had to make the dreaded announcement that Punkin and Puddin were going to have to say goodbye, because we had to leave. Almost immediately Punkin was in tears. Sweet A. was upset but was still trying to comfort Punkin, to no avail. I'll admit I was getting teary-eyed just watching the scene.
Repeated goodbyes were spoken, numerous tears were shed, sweet hugs were shared.
We are home now. Tonight and tomorrow it will all become "real" to the girls, so I anticipate a rough weekend.
One thought that's comforting my girls is knowing that we have cousins in Santa Fe, which is not too far from Albuquerque - so we *will* see A. and her family again, but that won't happen very often. But to my girls, it's a ray of hope.
Punkin is mourning - mourning the loss of a sweet, close friendship. In my grown-up wisdom, I know she'll survive, and I know the friendship will, most likely, continue - it will just be different.
I am sure of one thing through all of this - everyone needs a friend like A.