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Maria’s Friend // Dinosaur Bones

The other day while the boys snoozed away their afternoons, Maria and I read outside under the shade of an umbrella.  Our awesome neighbors had given us a bunch of Magic School Bus books, which she loves, and I love because of how much great info is in there for her to soak up.

It’s hard to get much of my own reading done when Maria is reading something exciting next to me, “Oh my gosh!  Mama, LOOK!  Look at this, this so cool!  Look at all these!”

She was reading a book about dinosaur bones and fossils and told me, “Mama, I want to see Dinosaurs!”

“Well, that ship has sailed, they are all dead.  It’s called extinct.”

“Ex-tinct?  Dead?  Well, I want to go see their bones!”

“That would be cool…” I dodged, the image of two blonde toddlers laughing while knocking over ancient skeletons in my mind…

“Mama, I prayed right now I go see dinosaur bones…”

“Ok ” I said.  (Weirdo) I thought.


Maria made a friend at camp, a real life friend and they spent so much time together, it’s a big deal.  Maria is the sweetest little girl, but she can also be so shy with new people when she first meets them.  Even a few times after she meets them, it can be hard for her to strike up a real conversation or look them in the eye, then she is a joyful maniac filled with life when she gets home.  We have understood her desire to have lots of mommy and daddy time since coming home, to fill up on the one this she had always wanted but never had prior, but she has recently shown more interest in friendships with peers, but confided in her nervousness, “Maybe I shy?”

So when she told us she had a friend at camp, we were so excited!  We even met her friend’s mom at church, and we LOVED her!  I told her how amazing her daughter is to befriend Maria who can be shy and is still learning English.

“I know, my daughter is so sweet!” she told me.  She told us about her life, how she is a refugee from Vietnam, how she loves to help kids and is super involved in our church.

We had Jasmin over for a real play date, and I marveled watching Maria play, no shyness, a friendship that had been built at camp as the girls made bracelets and laughed together, as they scooped Jasper out of a tree and asked the boys if they wanted to be pushed on the swings.  The girls and I played the game Hedbanz which is so fun and good for language.

When Jasmin’s mom came to pick her up, she told me she was taking her 3 kids to Balboa park for the free day at the Natural History museum tomorrow and wanted to know if Maria wanted to go.

“Natural history, huh…” I pondered, remembering Maria’s prayer that I secretly laughed at.  I thanked the mom and told her she would flip at the chance, and how it’s hard to get out and do big kids stuff sometimes with Maria when the boys are so little and need such big naps in the middle of the day.

We said goodbye to Jasmin and her mom, and I didn’t even tell Maria right away about the museum the next morning, I knew what she would say… haha, I’m so lame.
“Maria, tomorrow you get to go with Jasmin’s family to a museum…”
“MUSEUM!!  YAAAAAAAAY!  What is that??”
“You’ll see all sorts of stuff…even dinosaur bones…”
“Mama…” she looked at me, unsurprised at what I was telling her, and how it linked to her specific prayer just two days prior, a prayer that her parents weren’t answering, but what unfolding in the sweet friendship she had made.
“I know, right?” I told her and we cleaned up the explosion of doll items on her floor.
The next day she packed her camera, snack and went out and did a really fun thing, with a friend, and took pictures, learned a whole lot.
Here are some of the pictures Maria took on her outing to the Museum: (Which is cute all in itself!)
“Hi, I’m Maria posing with my best friend that I made myself at the museum!”

The “tiny elephant”

Just on an outing…with her friend

Sweetest girls ever!

Oh, and what’s this you ask?  Dinosaur bones, actually.
 We love this family so much!  And wah-wah, they are moving at the end of this month to Pennsylvania!  So sad!!!  I told the mom, who I had met twice, “I don’t want you to mooooooove!!”
She told me she wasn’t sad because she just thinks anywhere in America is awesome, being from Vietnam.   She told us she wanted to introduce us to all the sweet 5th grade families at church, “They are all amazing!”
And today, Maria is at the Getty with them having another amazing day! 
Proud of our girl!
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{ 3 comments… add one }
  • Kimberly August 10, 2013, 11:24 pm

    Well, if they are moving to the south eastern part of Pennsylvania, let me know. I’ll give them a great big Pennsylvania welcome!

  • Candice August 13, 2013, 6:22 am

    Oh my this post speaks to my heart. My little Zenya has been home for 2 months now and she gets so shy around kids her age. I know she is missing the kids from the orphanage and would like some little friends her own age, but when we go to the park or have a small person over for a visit she just clams right up, won’t make eye contact and won’t interact. Then after its done she tells me how much fun she had. I am hoping that with time, more language and confidence, she will make some little friends here.
    Maria’s smile in her photos speaks volumes. So awesome.

  • Katie August 28, 2013, 8:47 pm

    Just for future reference, most natural history museums are really kid friendly. I know it’s hard with nap time, but don’t worry about the boys knocking things over and stuff. I’ve taken my three boys by myself to more natural history museums than I can count, starting when they were probably 4, 2, and 1 (and they run around like madmen, and are not even close to what anyone would call calm and well-behaved), and we’ve all loved it.

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