Home > Education, Family, Friendship, Life, Love, Parenting > The Power of Three

The Power of Three

To me, there’s no sweeter sound than that of a child’s laughter. It’s comfort food to my ears and fills my heart with a strong sense that something is “right” in this world. When it’s a giggling girl, it’s a little piece of heaven, add two BFFs and it’s an all-out party. That’s what it seemed like anyway when my 10-year old daughter had her two gal pals over for a play date this week. Ten is such a joyous age. It’s the pre, pre-tween-age of self-discovery, where everything is new again and funny.

After a brief stint of one-on-one-on-one basketball, there was the discovery of a blue bird’s egg on the front lawn and the nest that was knocked from a bush. They huddled around it with great concern trying to figure out what happened and what they could do to save it. They played on the over-sized swing-set that dominates a good chunk of our backyard and seems to get less and less attention as the years go by. I was happy to hear the boards creak again as they ran across the wooden bridge linking one tower to the other. Then they did what girls often do and tried on clothes for the next hour. My girl is a bit taller than the other two and has grown two sizes this year alone. One by one, they came out of their giggles to model their outfits. I was checking my Facebook on the kitchen computer as they cat-walked the runway for me.

A friend had posted the now infamous pictures of President Obama and his national security team as they were briefed about the demise of Bin Laden. I wondered what (if anything) three girls in the fourth grade would think about the removal of prominent government officials, who just happen to be women, from a government issued photograph in two news articles that recently circulated in Brooklyn, New York.

Without going into the detail behind the original photograph, I asked them to look at both pictures and tell me what they thought of them.

They immediately recognized that they were the same picture but that the two women who were in the first photo, were missing from the second and they wanted to know, why? In very simple terms I explained that it was a cultural decision.

“But it’s not true. They were there!”

10-year old girls believe in the truth.

“Isn’t that what they call sex…um, sex-ist?”

10-year old girls are smart and a force to be reckoned with.

“I don’t agree with it and I do find it very offensive but it’s their culture.”

10-year old girls are tolerant.

“That’s just wrong. I’m a Jew and that’s not my kind of Jew. I don’t like it.

Let’s go play.”

10-year old girls speak their mind and really do just want to have fun.

And they should.

I take great comfort in their play and all that it encompassed in just one afternoon. From their savvy athletic skills in basketball, their great display of compassion for the unborn bird and it’s home and their fantastic, imaginative adventure on the play structure, to their sophisticated sense of fashion on the runway of my kitchen, the promise of strength in these little women is evident.  And while one may be able to “faux-toshop” them out of a picture someday, I don’t think for one second, they will ever be out of the game.

They are powerful indeed and in a tough spot, this power of three. It’s the end of the school year and they are very much aware that one of the points that keeps this triangle in flow, will not be coming back next year. With a class size of ten, losing one makes a big difference, especially when they’ve been together since they’re two. It’s difficult for them and I’ve been thinking a lot about how to help them honor their growth, celebrate their friendship of eight years and acknowledge their parting of the ways as a natural part of life, albeit a sad one.

Sometimes we need to say, “goodbye” to the people we love in order to become all that we can be.

Life after-all is a series of “hellos” and “goodbyes“, some lasting longer than others, some merely preparation for when we meet again.

So, if it’s up to me, for now, I think I’ll just let them play as much as they can or want to, together.


Photo Credit # 1 & #2:  ©Karen Szczuka Teich & http://www.takingtheworldonwithasmile.com

Photo Credit #3 & #4:  Yahoo! News The Cutline

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  1. jen
    May 22, 2011 at 8:56 am

    tears in the eyes – thanks Karen

  2. May 22, 2011 at 9:49 am

    awesome!!!
    love ya
    hannah

  3. nannamvs
    May 22, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    let’s hope this trio of friends will have many years of laughter together,

  4. May 25, 2011 at 7:46 am

    That was really interesting about the women being removed from the photos. Good for the girls for having those reactions!

  5. anita
    May 30, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    Three beautiful girls and a story well told…and still writing itself as I am certain it will for many years to come. These are AWESOME young girls.

  6. May 30, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    Thank you, Anita!

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