Saying Goodbye to a Friend…

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It’s never the huge things in life that really make a difference but just the everyday actions that show someone their important to us. My son taught me once again yesterday that he is indeed maturing by his small actions towards a neighbor boy. Many months ago, a divorced mother moved with her two boys into the house across the street. She was in transition and had decided to move back for a few months with her mother and stepfather. Our sons hit it off from the beginning. They both loved to play whatever nine-year-old boys love to play at the moment. One minute it was beyblade, legos, or a game of magic. The next minute they were outside for a game of football or soccer. Since the mom was divorced, the little boy split his week between this house and his father’s house. If it was a day he was with his mom, the doorbell would ring about twenty minutes after school and K would ask, “Can Solomon play now?” Most of the time my son was happy to play. Sometimes though my son would have another friend over from school and wouldn’t want me to answer the door to have him join in. Other times he’d say “Sure he can play with us too.” And the three little boys would go barreling outside for a pick up game of wall ball or football.

Last month, they let us know that it was time to move out. I couldn’t believe how sad I felt. Even though they aren’t moving very far, I knew a certain time was ending. I know K won’t just be able to run over to our house by himself to see if my son is home. Growing up, I had a couple of good friends whose houses I was allowed to go to whenever I wanted, I knew that this had been a special opportunity for my son. My son on the other hand kind of blew it off. He said, “Yeah, we’ll still see him sometimes. I am not too sad.” I was pretty surprised that he was so glib.

Last night, we stopped at Walgreens to pick up a few things, including a birthday card for my step sister. My son was looking at the cards with me and a couple of minutes later, he said, “ Can I get this one for K?” It was a Peanuts card that said, “I wish you prosperity, I wish you luck, I wish you happiness, I wish you hadn’t gone.” My first reaction was no when I turned it over an saw the $3.99 price for the card. I figured we didn’t need to spend that much to say an official goodbye, especially considering how glib he’d seemed just a few weeks before. However my son was persistent and really determined, so I agreed. This morning he saw K’s car outside and even though we were running late for school, he said, “ Can I go give K’s mom the card?” He quickly wrote, I’ll miss you and signed his name. His thoughtfulness and follow through surprised me.  I smiled though thinking that my ten-year-old son just may have learned his first lesson in what it means to be a good friend.

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