Tuesday, March 11, 2008


E has always been a pretty social kid – delighted by attentive adults and happy to play with kids of all ages and genders. Part ham, part benevolent dictator, and a pretty energetic kid, she has moved easily through the world (so far, she is only 9, mind you).

About a year ago, however, I realized that she hasn’t ever really had a “best friend.” Oh sure, there was the older girl down the street that she idolized and there have been kids that she has spent lots of time with, but she has not had that chosen-by-her, kindred spirit, do-everything-together buddy… until now.

When E skipped up to fourth grade (something the school calls “double promotion”), her teachers expressed concern that she would struggle socially. Just the opposite has happened, however, perhaps in part because she had not formed one of those foundational kinds of friendships in second grade that would have made skipping third grade hard.

During the first half of fourth grade, E settled in with a tight little group of smarties. I was pretty happy that she had a crew and certainly not disappointed that they were the brainiacs of the class. I finally got to meet the two boys when they came for E’s birthday party in January. Great kids. The other girl of the group couldn’t make it, though. We finally managed to have her over a couple of weeks ago and the love affair has blossomed between E and T now that they have been able to spend hours and hours together outside of school. E is beside herself with joy when with or plotting to be with T. And T, another great kid, seems to feel the same. And I have to admit that that joy is a little infectious… Remember your fourth grade best friend? You ate dinner at one or the other of the houses almost every night… You sat together everyday at lunch… You played together everyday, all day long in summer… And all those sleepovers…

I’m very happy for E.

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