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When a friend abandons you

Submitted by on Friday, 20 March 2009 No Comment

sad_big_guyFrom the second he started  kindergarten, Big Guy gravitated toward Best Buddy.

By the end of the first day, they already knew each other’s names – an accomplishment when you’re not quite 5 and faced with 19 new people to learn. Every morning for months, Big Guy and Best Buddy would meet up before school to run, chase, kick balls and do other boy stuff.

A few weeks ago, though, a gulf started to emerge. We were at a birthday party and Best Buddy wasn’t interested in playing with Big Guy a lot of the time. It kept widened, to the point of near total avoidance.

Tuesday Big Guy dropped a bomb.

“Mommy, he told me he doesn’t want to be my friend anymore.”

Ouch. Talk about a bullet to a 5-year-old heart.

I know how he feels. I wasn’t much older than he is now when my closest friend from age 2 on found someone else she’d rather play with. Nothing in particular happened. One week we were getting together over Barbies every day, the next she was setting up house with someone else.

Funny thing was, I was sitting in the lobby of my college dorm one morning my freshman year and saw former best friend walk in. We picked up where we’d left off a decade earlier, except our activities centered more on beer than Barbies.

I think it’s simply a case of Best Buddy’s just not being that into Big Guy.

Best Buddy still is chatty enough when I pick Big Guy up in the cafeteria, though he was developed an obnoxious habit of tattling every time Big Guy gets his name on the board in class.  It could be, though, that it annoys me mainly because I know his distance hurts Big Guy.

“Why doesn’t he want to play?” Big Guy asked.

“I don’t know, babes. Did you ask him?”

“Yes. He said he just doesn’t want to.”

Chances are at 5, Best Buddy doesn’t really know why he doesn’t want to. The same problem used to cycle through Big Guy’s preschool every month or so. With the exception of one kid Big Guy was tight with consistently, the alliances would shift. The difference was, then the snits usually were mutual.

Best Buddy’s family doesn’t live on our street and I don’t know his parents other than by nodding acquaintance, so I’m not in a position to call up or stroll over and ask casually if anything happened.

Big Guy’s teacher mentioned on his recent report card that he’s well-liked, so I don’t think there’s a wide-ranging problem.

Big Guy still has plenty of friends to run, chase, kick balls and do other boy stuff with, and I remind him of that. “You still play with S, don’t you? And A and Z,” I’ll say. He’ll nod. “So maybe Best Buddy just doesn’t want to play right now. He might again some day.”

Maybe one of these days Best Buddy and Big Guy will meet up at a college dorm and go out for a beer. I know for now, though, that it hurts by boy.

I’m sorry, babes.

Copyright 2009 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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