A Note on Friendship

Kid Reflection

“We’re not friends anymore,” he said from deep in the backseat. I was driving and couldn’t find him in the rearview mirror.

“Why?” I asked. “What happened?”

“He won’t play with me,” he said. “He only played with the other kids.”

We were driving down a long and winding road. The cliffs were steep and fell straight to my gut.

“Just because a friend is playing with someone else doesn’t mean that he isn’t your friend, too.”

Quiet.

I saw movement in the backseat, but it was his brother trying to position himself for a better look at the rocks we were passing.

Then, “I told him I didn’t want to be his friend.”

“What did he say?” I asked.

“He said that was good. He said that he lied about being my best friend.”

“I don’t believe that he meant it,” I said. “People say mean things when they have their feelings hurt. It happens all the time.”

“He hurt my feelings first,” he answered.

“And then you said something mean,” I replied. “Mean words are contagious and have a way of spreading.”

His brother yawned and fiddled with his backpack. Then our street was there, where it always is, waiting around the corner. As I turned I could see them both, each leaning against a window, one looking far and full of wonder, the other looking farther still, past the things that I could see and lost in his reflection.

Then I showed them the spot where I had seen a vulture earlier in the day.

“A real vulture?” they asked.

And the car filled with conversation.

_________________

“May I use that?” I asked. He handed me the note that I had, just moment before, found him writing.

“Why?”

“Because I want to share it,” I said.

“Okay.”

Kid Apology Letter

“I’m proud of you,” I told him. “And I always am.”

The next day came and went again, their friendship was all the stronger.

 

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