The sound of laughter and goofiness floats up the stairs.
It is the sound of tween girls having fun.
She has struggled all of her life with friendships.
She can be bossy. Demanding. Inpatient.
She is also kind. Thoughtful. Generous.
And although she is the girl who gets excluded from giant slumber parties, she is also the girl who would give someone else her sleeping bag if they needed it.
Although she expects people to play the game she chooses, she will quickly let you win if she thinks losing will hurt your feelings.
And although she wants what she wants and she wants it now, she is happy to share with you once she has it.
As the snow was falling late this afternoon, she paced the living room anxiously.
Her new friend was late. I was certain it was because of the snow. She was certain her friend had decided she didn't want to come.
She is nervous she is going to blow it. She is scared her friend won't like her after staying over. She is afraid that she is going to say or do something to make her new friend mad.
Listening from upstairs, I can hear that she is doing fine.
She is growing up, and she is learning what being a friend is.
I hear her asking, not telling.
I hear her listening, not interrupting.
And I know that this is the beginning of a very positive change for her.