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Challenge: It's Back to School: Share Your Advice

Sweet girl, the best friend you've longed for is out there

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This school year, I hope you finally find a best friend.

I know you struggle with making connections. Your fierce independence doesn't exactly help attract playmates. You don't understand why everyone doesn't always want to play what you want to play, or why they don't always share your same likes and interests

From the moment you started school, I have longed for the days of you coming home and asking if you can have a sleepover. I have wished that you would connect with someone. I've laid in bed at night and prayed that you would meet another little girl who loves Shopkins and American Girl dolls as much as you, so that you feel bonded throughout your school days. Someone you can share your excitements with, and someone who will stand beside you at your birthday parties, smiling and loudly singing "Happy Birthday"!

You aren't picked first at kickball. You don't immediately have a partner when it's time to pair off. You don't have a dedicated seat at lunch next to a little girl who is ready to giggle and share stories with you. To others looking in, it probably seems as if you prefer to be alone. But I know that's not true. I know you long to have a permanent playmate. A friend who you can look forward to seeing each day.

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You're in the beginning stages of learning about the cruelty of girls. Being left out isn't fun for anyone. I wish I could tell you it gets better; it doesn't. I wish I could tell you to hold your head high and soldier through, but I know that isn't realistic. It's okay to hurt, and it's okay to want to cry, but I hope you don't. I hope you'll remember that you are beautiful, smart, and funny, and that anyone would be lucky to call you their friend. Try to remain strong in the times when you want to break down. But if you can't, get into my car at pick up and let's cry it out together. Your pain is my pain, and I'll hold you and remind you how special you are. I will always be your best friend, even through the exhausting teenage years when we are both at our wits end with each other. I am here for you, always.

Your day is coming, baby. I know that somewhere out there is another little girl, longing for a friend just like you. A friend who is kind, compassionate, and loyal. I hope that this year, you find each other. You'll take turns on the monkey bars, share your desserts at lunch, and constantly get in trouble for talking to each other in line for the bathroom. You'll beg for weekend play dates, and for her to come home with you after school on Fridays. You'll want to invite her to getaways at the beach and to church on Sundays, and I'll always say yes.

And I'll also thank God each and every day for finally sending you the best friend you have desperately longed for. She's out there, sweet girl; ready to enjoy years of fun right by your side.

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