She was so excited. A play date with one of her best friends from school. Anna hadn’t seen this friend since the last day of school and missed her terribly.
Schedules had filled up quickly this summer. We all had trips. The kids entertained themselves so well that I really let the whole play date thing slide.
We were scheduled to swing by and pick up her friend, followed by lunch and playtime at our house. The fun would begin right after swimming lessons.
Until I got the tragic text during swim lessons. Her little friend had just thrown up. Play date cancelled.
When I broke the news to her, Anna’s face crumpled. Tears followed.
It had all been planned out. How could everything be so good one minute and then so broken the next. Her face told the whole story and I knew just how she felt. It hurts when we see a glimmer of fun and friendship ahead of us and then it’s cancelled abruptly.
As much as children are entertained and occupied by toys and electronics and books, there is no true substitute for the promise of friendship and laughter.
So I scrambled. I texted the mother of another little girl in our neighborhood. Can she play?? No dice. I asked Anna if she wanted to just hang out at the pool instead this afternoon. No, not really.
How about fast food chicken nuggets and the giant plastic play place?
Well… okay. So we switched gears and drove to a restaurant the kids like. I ordered two kids meals and juice boxes, enough to sufficiently grease up their intestinal tracks and let them run around and climb for considerably longer than I typically do.
Distraction. Salty food. The heartache seemed to ease up. She was laughing and enjoying this loud crazy place, filled with strangers and plastic tubes. Her heart started to mend.
It would be okay, we would salvage the afternoon.