Girl stuff

Rhema and her precious friend Syd often have play dates on Sundays. When I ask Rhema what she wants to do with her friend, her answer is almost always “talk.” She treasures it, after all the years of silence, the gift of conversation. And she genuinely enjoys getting to know her friend better.

On this particular day, she typed:

i want to talk with syd about girl stuff.

And with those simple words I remembered once again that my soon to be thirteen-year-old girl is my soon to be thirteen-year-old girl. Her days don’t look very much like those of other girls her age, but she shares many of the same interests, hopes and dreams.

Syd was totally up for talking about girl stuff. She sat at the table and did some coloring before Rhema broke off all the tips of a new set of markers.

I held Rhema’s iPad and she slowly typed, “hi syd”.

“Rhema,” I said, “I’m going to try to be invisible and just hold your iPad. What would you like to ask Syd?”

What happened next was one of the most vulnerable, beautiful conversations I have ever heard. I learned new things about my daughter that only make me love and respect her more. And Syd is a rare gem. She is genuine, patient and kind. She never seems put off by Rhema’s challenges, differences or seemingly odd behavior at times. She sees past all that and, as Rhema says, sees her. Syd dares to find ways to connect, and she sincerely enjoys their time together.

The conversation below may read fast, but it took an hour. Rhema is very slow at typing and it takes so much concentration and focus to complete a sentence. In between typing/pointing she nervously slapped her leg or licked her fingers or ripped paper. But she persevered. Because she loves, loves talking with her friend.

Rhema: Syd, what is your favorite thing to do on weekends

Syd: Go to church, go to youth group, spend time with you, relax, sing and bake. What is your favorite thing to do on weekends?

Rhema: I love to have playdates with you and sleep in


Rhema: What do you like most about me?

Syd: You’re kind and sweet and welcoming. And a very good friend.

Rhema: I like that you are so kind and loving and you see the real me


Rhema: My name means spoken word. My name is a promise that God will speak

Syd: That’s cool. My parents just liked my name. Do you have a favorite movie?

Rhema: No. I don’t like them because they require too much concentration


Rhema: How do you feel about boys?

Syd: Sometimes they can be really annoying. Sometimes they can be really nice. How do you feel about boys?

Rhema: I think they are cute and I hope to get a boyfriend one day.


Rhema: Someone once said I was too loud in church. Do you think so? Am I too loud?

Syd: No. Not at all.


Rhema: I want to know how I can pray for you

Syd: My mom’s cousin has cancer. And I hope that the snowstorm will not be too dangerous. And I hope our friendship goes on forever. How can I pray for you?

Rhema: I want to go to more school where I can be challenged and have friends.


Rhema: Thank you for talking to me today. I love you.

(Rhema and Syd’s conversation was shared with permission.)

4 thoughts on “Girl stuff

  1. Precious, precious friendship. God’s grace is always so lovely. I’m so glad you have a friend, Rhema. Will you pray for my Ian to have one as good as Syd?

  2. Hi Jeneil,

    Healthline would like to congratulate you on making our list of the Best Autism Blogs of 2017!

    Our editors carefully selected the most up-to-date, informative, and inspiring blogs that aim to uplift their readers through education and personal stories. We’re glad to have you on the list!

    We’ve created a badge that you can embed on your site to let your readers know about your win. The embed code is at the link below.

    Winners list:
    Badge to embed:

    If you have any questions or need help embedding the badge, feel free to be in touch. Congratulations and keep up the great blogging!


    Maegan Jones | Content Coordinator
    Your most trusted ally in pursuit of health and well-being

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