DeLaynie has been asking me about a friend from school ever since summer began. She wanted to send her letters almost constantly. Anytime she made something she was especially proud of, she would sigh to herself, "I wish she could see this..."
Obviously, friendships are a normal part of a little girl's life, but DeLaynie isn't normal. She's socially stunted due to her delays, and she has never really seemed to care about friends when they're not around. I was desperate, of course, to make DeLaynie's dreams of seeing her friend become a reality. There was just one problem: I didn't know her name!
DeLaynie kept telling us about her friend, and she used her name very specifically. DeLaynie has a wild imagination and she tends to get things from television mixed up with things from real life. I made her point her friend out when we looked at her class pictures. She was consistent. Edwin and I decided that The Friend may actually exist. But we still only knew her first name.
I asked a school teacher at church if she knew her. She wracked her brain, and sure enough, she made the connection. She is good friends with DeLaynie's teacher from preschool, so she tracked down the phone number for us. I made the phone call to The Friend's mom, and The Friend missed DeLaynie too! We set up a playdate for today.
I was terrified that it wasn't going to be the right friend. What if DeLaynie mixed up the name, and the little girl who got out of the car was someone else? What if DeLaynie said, "That's not The Friend!"? The anticipation mounted all week. DeLaynie kept reminding me that The Friend was coming, and I kept hoping that we found the right girl.
Then her mom pulled into the driveway. DeLaynie, Ella (who had gotten caught up in all of the excitement), and I went out on the porch to welcome who we hoped to be The Friend. Their eyes met, and they ran to each other! It was The Friend! DeLaynie was right! There's a real person that DeLaynie really likes! They hugged, and DeLaynie exclaimed, "You're here. You're really here. We're finally together again!"