October 2, 2015

I think it’s great that our son Theo has had friendships over the years with girls as well as boys. In 3rd grade, he actually spent most of his time with girls, making rubber-band bracelets, playing fairy games and falling out with each other at least once a week! But now that he’s a 5th grader, he spends most of his time in the company of boys discussing video games, making up fantasy tag-like games and leaping around the school yard learning new Parkour moves with his buddies. However, there is one girl he has consistently considered a friend since kindergarten, even though they don’t play together at school. Cortez is the daughter of Eric (see May 4), who has also been a close friend since kindergarten. Their friendship has grown in part because we have stayed friends over the years and have organized activities together like hiking, visiting museums, cycling and swimming, and we’ve sent the kids to the same camps most summer breaks. But Theo and Cortez have their own unique relationship that is based on a certain level of comfort together and a lot of silliness.

Cortez is a beautiful girl. She is also a strong and athletic girl and can hold her own with any boy in the school. She’s a few inches taller than Theo so can always outrun him, and she can out-burp him too, and has done on many occasions. This makes her way more fun for Theo than a lot of the girls in his class. I think Cortez finds Theo entertaining too, and Theo works this, always doing his best to crack her up with jokes, funny faces and slapstick comedy when she’s visiting our house. In fact, almost every time we get them together, a good chunk of their time together is spent laughing hysterically.

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Over the years that Theo and Cortez have been friends, I have also become very fond of her and we often give each other hugs when we see each other at school. I have enjoyed watching her growing up over the last five years. Tonight I even witnessed her 9th tooth falling out after we all left a movie together. Today I gave her an Evil-Eye pendant, or nazar, that we bought last year in Turkey. The pendant is an amulet meant to ward off evil. I hope it provides her with protection against any bad forces in the world around her, but I also hope it protects her from any doubts and fears that might stop her from being her true self as she grows up into the lovely young woman she is clearly destined to be (despite all the burping!). I hope she never loses her strength, her dynamism and her love of laughter.

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