At seven and a half, Katie is in the charming habit of regularly trying on new expressions. She takes little morsels of conversation that she read or heard at school and plays with them for a while. She finds various ways to incorporate them into her speech and to ultimately make them her own. The particular phrase she’s toying with this week is, “I know for a fact.”
I love watching her experiment with each new expression. Sometimes she uses them appropriately, sometimes they’re a little awkward, and once in a while they simply get jammed forcibly into some poor unsuspecting sentence. This morning she said, “Yeah, I know for a fact that I really liked my old reading partner better than my new one, Mama.” Oooooookay.
A couple of days ago a Mom friend of mine sent me an e-mail describing a conversation that she had with her daughter, who is Katie’s schoolmate and friend. The conversation started when her daughter, who I’ll call Lila, told her that she had decided that she didn’t want a big birthday party this year. Instead, she told her mom, she really just wants to have a slumber party with her ‘real friends.’
The following is the conversation as described by my friend, who you will quickly see is a great mom. (So ‘me’ is really her, not me. Get it?)
Me: What do you mean by real friends?
Lila: You know!
Me: No. I really don’t know. What is a real friend?
Lila: Well, Mommy. Real friends are the girls who don’t always try to be so powerful.
Me: What do mean by powerful honey?
Lila: You know.
Me: No. I really don’t.
Lila: The girls who try to have all the power because they’re not sure how to just be nice.
(OMG! She’s so damn smart!!)
Me: What do mean babe?
Lila: You know what I mean.
Me: No. I really don’t.
Lila: Well there are girls who never act nice except when they want all the power. And there are girls who share power, which is really nice!
Me: Wow, Lila. That is so interesting. Can you tell me more about that?
(More eye rolling)
Lila: Well I just want girls like Katie at my party because she’s really nice even when she wants power. We can talk and decide to share it. That why Katie is so special.
I am so proud of my big girl. She’s navigating her world with a grace beyond her years. She is a good friend and a great little person.
Katie is one really neat kid. And I know that for a fact.
(and thank you so much to my friend for taking the time to share this with me. i will treasure it.)