You can barely hear them.
She can't hear them at all, and I like it that way.
They're soft and intermittent and I can almost always ignore them. Sometimes I can even silence them with a look or an explanation or sometimes with just a tiny amount of snark.
Mostly they're the whispers of strangers and who cares what they think? She doesn't notice them and even if she did, she wouldn't understand them. If she did, she'd probably just smile and reach out her hand because she's gentle and kind and forgiving like that.
Sometimes I too want to reach out my hand. But in more of a "come over here so I can slap your head" way.
Though my daughter has many friends, last year she made a new friend and this relationship was special. This little girl had just moved to Canada with her father while her mother was remained overseas. Her new friend came over to our house often to play and attend parties and she called Avery on the phone. How proud and excited my little girl was to have the phone ring—for her. Between Avery's delayed speech and her friend's broken English, it was the game Broken Telephone—IRL version. It was both terribly sweet and ridiculously funny.
Now well into Grade three, Avery has gotten over the disappointment of not being in the same class as her bestie. I have tried since the beginning of the school year to arrange a play date, but our invitations have been repeatedly declined. I've come to learn that the mom is here now and Avery's friend told me she will not allow her to come to our house.
I can't name the reason why, but in my heart I know. Perhaps I'm wrong. I hope I'm wrong. Maybe they are just extremely busy? Or there's something else going on that I don't know about? But the thing is, even if they're faint or spoken in another language, I can hear the whispers.