Aubrey Rilynn Moore. London Kate Miller. In reality, these two little girls, ages 6 and 5 respectively, are second cousins. Their fathers are first cousins. In their hearts and minds, these two have been best friends and sisters since they were each old enough to toddle about and talk.
Aubrey is my granddaughter and London is my sister Linda’s granddaughter. As often as we can, working with everyone’s schedules, we get these little girls together to play. Because of school and parents’ schedules, it’s been a couple of months since the girls have had a play date. We made that happen today, declaring a girls’ afternoon.
After lunch and time in the playground area at Chick-Fil-A, a favorite hang out for Aubrey and London, we camped out at Linda’s house. The cool rainy weather changed our original plans, keeping us indoors for a time. But that didn’t matter to these cuties. They were happy to see each other, happy to have time to chat and play. When the sprinkles stopped for a while, we went for a walk, the girls pushing baby dolls in strollers.
Back at the house a sound that excites children everywhere caught their attention. The ice cream truck was coming, its familiar tune announcing its progress through the neighborhood. Of course, the driver was thrilled to stop for these bight eyed girls.
The girls had a wonderful afternoon together. They played indoors and out, introduced themselves to the new children who have moved into the neighborhood, shared, laughed, acted silly, talked Yaya and Gigi into not one but two walks through the neighborhood. Linda and I are always there, at the edges of their playfulness, listening, watching, loving these sweet girls.
As I was the observer of their joyful time together, I was struck with a sudden thought. They are growing up. Of course they are, getting taller, learning so much. What I noticed was how their conversations are shifting, their awareness of the world deepening. The little squabbles over who plays with what have disappeared. They were kind and polite, to each other and to their grandmothers, and to those who served them food or stood in line with them in the bathroom. There was no pouting, no tears, no sassiness. High energy, yes, hilarious conversations and amusing antics, oh yeah. But they are transitioning, from little kids to thoughtful young ladies who certainly know how to have fun while interacting at a high level, socially and intellectually.
Too soon, London and Aubrey will leave childhood behind and gracefully enter their teens. In their fresh, beautiful faces I caught glimpses of the young ladies who are emerging. I saw a flash of the future today…prom dresses and drivers licenses and first love….and Aubrey and London, poised, confident, joyful, walking arm in arm, chatting as they have always done. And while it brought a sting of tears to my eyes, it brought great joy to my heart. Cousins/sisters/friends….I’m so grateful for these girls and so grateful that they have each other. They share a deep bond, these two. Linda and I are blessed to get to hang out with them.