I was thinking of moving house. The rationale was that Adoti needed a larger play area, seeing as my almost-one-year-old is getting so big. She’s a veritable bundle of energy that one. It’s not an evening stroll in the park trying to keep up with her, I can tell you that.
She doesn’t walk – she scurries. The girl has mastered the science of being in a constant state of motion. She’s the kind of kid that really should end up as some kind of covert operative because she’s never in one place for too long.
On her travels, she has made some friends. The first little girl she made friends with quickly became her BFF (best friend forever). For the longest time, she and Leila were as thick as thieves, despite the fact that neither of them speaks.
They would just follow each other from one end of the court to the other, roll around in the dirt for a bit, make a few convivial noises and then repeat.
Adoti is not as steady on her feet as Leila, but she had to learn to keep up. One time, Leila climbed the stairs to the first floor and then beckoned Adoti to follow. She sat at the top of the staircase egging my almost-one-year-old on, and the sassy lil’ miss actually began to go up, one stair at a time, determined not to be outdone. Naturally, when I realised what was happening, it felt as if my heart had tumbled down that flight of stairs, just thinking of the child doing the same.
None of them had any kind of idea that what they were doing had the potential to end very badly. But that’s children for you, no sense of danger at all.
Anyhow, after a few weeks of a blossoming friendship, Leila, who’s a bit older than Adoti, became slightly more aggressive than she had been in the past. She started pushing her to the ground and throwing things at her. It was no longer as fun as it used to be, so Adoti stopped playing with her. They are not BFFs any longer. Forever didn’t last more than a couple of months. Sigh.
Luckily, the covert operative already had a new friend in her sights. This time he was a little boy. I think he’s a bout 4-years-old. We see more of him during the holidays and he’s usually playing with his older sister, who is probably seven, maybe 8-years-old.
Adoti and Keitan have quickly become joined at the hip. His sister can usually be seen tagging along listlessly as the two little lovebirds get their playground thing on. They are so attached that every time I go downstairs to bring Adoti back to the house, he gives me the side-eye…tears threatening to roll down his chubby cheeks.
But he’s a lil’ man, so he stands there stoically and watches his girl disappear up the steps, looking so sad and forlorn. If he wasn’t a 4-year-old, I would swear he’s watched The Notebook. He’s got such a flair for the dramatic. Which I suppose is why he and Adoti get along.
So I guess we’ll be dropping one ‘F’ from ‘BFF’ because it’s looking like my girl has a friend and he’s a boy. They make a cute little couple. At this age, it’s nothing but sweetness and light. They squabble over baby things like who’s going to kick the football. And Adoti tries to wrestle him for his tricycle even though she hasn’t learned how to ride a bike.
They are in the age of innocence and it’s really quite delightful to watch. There are too many stories nowadays about baby boys and girls getting drawn into our hyper-sexualised adult world way before their time. Too many reports of children, both boys and girls, becoming survivors of sexual assault at a very young age. As the mother of a girl-child, I am all too aware that I have to be extra vigilant as I go about the business of raising her.
These are the thoughts that go through my mind when I watch Adoti and Keitan live, laugh and play. They are two healthy, happy kids who are still living in a world untouched by darkness and all the ills that thrive in the shadows. It’s a beautiful thing. When Adoti is old enough to understand, I will tell her to savour her youth…these will be some of the best years of her life.