Saturday, May 1, 2010

Boy Love

"No one will play with me at recess."
It was a statement of fact, bravely put forth by my small boy.
The huge hazel eyes searched mine.
My own eyes stung as I commanded every cell in my body to stay steady.
I did my best to soothe and strategize. Later, I inquired of the kindergarten teacher: What did she see? After all, I was under the impression that William is--and has long been--well liked by just about everyone. He's kind, intelligent and quietly funny. He blends well with many different types of kids and enjoys them all. His teacher confirmed this and explained that he always plays with classmates at recess.
Yet despite being busy, Will still felt lonely.
I knew exactly why: He needed a Best Friend.
Just as all little boys should have a dog, they need a Best Friend. All boys should have a special companion who can appreciate the fine art of mushing gross uneaten food into a carton of chocolate milk. They need a person who can repeat a fart joke with a cackle then cheer them on as they execute a flying two-footed leap off a swing when their moms aren't looking.
And while William has a built-in buddy with a twin sister who loves him like a turtle loves its shell, he doesn't have a best buddy--yet.
I had been hopeful there would be a match when he started preschool at age 3. While there was plenty of fun to be had, there was noone special who stuck; the second year of pre-k left us with many good memories but no real contenders for Best Friend.
I hoped that kindergarten--and a boy-heavy class of 19--would offer up an opportunity. But with six weeks left in the school year, I wasn't seeing a match yet.
In the meantime, we continued to play with lots of different children and kept up ties with our preschool pals. I invited 40 kids to the twins' sixth birthday party but shelved my hidden hope for a Best Friend for Will this school year.
Then just today, I heard the cackle I'd been hoping for.
It rose up from my backyard like the first Texas bluebonnet of spring--bright, tall and full.
Charlie Schwartzman--a friend from preschool--was running in hot pursuit of Will. Together they tore around our biggest oak tree, Will in the lead while weilding a Nerf gun. My boy was was laughing like a heyena, open mouthed, tongue wagging.
Even after Charlie tackled his pal and, apparently, licked his ear, Will was grinning.
After the Schwartzmans left, Will pulled me aside.
"Mom," he said, "Charlie said he likes me best. He likes me. The. Best."
Charlie, I think it might be mutual.

3 comments:

Jamie said...

This one's got me crying Jules. While I'm thrilled that Will has found a best pal in the end, it breaks my heart that this tender little kid recognized that he didn't have one yet. I guess that makes it all more rewarding, though. Hope the Swartzman's don't have any plans to move.....

♥Georgie♥ said...

such a touching post...it reminded me of when my oldest was in elementary school and i would drive by at recess and see her standing alone by a tree while all the other children ran,played and had fun...to this day she doesnt have a best friend but rather she has many friends...

stopping by from Ash's blog so glad i did

terri said...

It's so hard to watch our children face the ups and downs of friendships and life.

I'm glad he has found a buddy!