I made some real friends, back when I worked at Teenie Greenies.
I spent some time with one of them yesterday, while our girls played, and walked, with us. Maeve and Autumn have been playing together for at least a year now, first at the store, and now on play dates whenever we can. Autumn is a year younger than Maeve but pretty mature in some ways, and they get along great, especially with all that practice. Back at the store, Maeve used to Autumn "girl" while they were playing, but we finally got to a first-name basis.
I am so grateful for all Maeve's friends that have helped her learn how to play together kindly, share nicely, and resolve arguments calmly, and for her friends' parents who have been so kind to Maeve and me as we've grown and learned as parents. It's a real gift to have parent friends who listen, who care.