The other day, the Crankee Yankee and I went to Get Air, a place where you can bounce on trampolines to your heart’s content. We were celebrating with our granddaughter, Ava, on her sixth birthday. Get Air has rooms where you can have birthday parties, and this one was a doozy.
In attendance were not only Ava’s 13-month old sister, Juliette (or “JujuB” as we call her), but several of Ava’s friends from school and their parents. Even the Crankee Yankee donned the Get Air approved socks and bounced right along with the kids.
After a good long time, we all went to the party room and enjoyed pizza and cake. While Ava opened her gifts, her circle of friends surrounded her. They handed her gifts, helped her open them, and took as much pleasure in it all as she did.
In her own loving and effusive way, Ava insisted on thanking and hugging each friend, much to the embarrassment of the boys. But it was clear that they liked Ava and suffered the hugs with the usual young male attitude—holding their bodies stiffly and rolling their eyes at all that girlyness.
Even at age six, Ava is a kind and loving friend. She now has her own little tribe, with all their jokes and games and secrets. While she is a natural leader, she is also compassionate and caring, and she made sure that day that everyone had a good time.
When we find our own tribe at an early age, we step into a venue that will be part of our lives forever. These friendships may come from school, or camp, or neighbors, or a hobby. What matters is that we find common ground with our tribe. We love and accept them, we stand with them and we proclaim our friendship with them.
The Crankee Yankee and I just enjoyed the day watching her and her little sister. Their mom and dad switched off caring for JujuB so that each of them could have their turn on the trampolines. There was even a small area where kids her age could play safely with their parents. Her dad played with her and bounced her on the little trampoline. She giggled and smiled and you could tell she was loving the experience.
When she too finds her own tribe, it will open the door to wonderful friendships. I can’t wait to see who they are and what she will bring to them. Bless our own tribes for all the gifts they give us.