Note from Nicole ~ Check in, Have Fun, Be Nice
By Nicole Donnelly
I recently found a letter than our six year old had written to his best friend but never delivered.
Hello. How are you doing today? What do you want to do today? ... I like that story. What are you doing tomorrow? Maybe we can go bowling? I don't know. Let's just find out. Bye. Have a good day!
Normally this might be something I barely glance at. I mean, we have literally 12,000 pieces of paper with writing and drawing on them at any given moment in our house. For some reason, though, I paused to take this one in. His penmanship was messy, yet neat, in the way only a six-year-old's can be. And knowing my son, he put major thought and love into this letter for his friend.
Admittedly, the content also got me thinking. How easy is friendship when you're six? I mean, sure, it's not easy WHEN you're six. But my late-thirties self is remembering back to when those relationships were barely complicated and revolved around pushing each other on the swings, sharing snacks, and laughing over silly noises and goofy faces. Man, it sure gets harder as you get older, doesn't it?
After discovering his letter, I asked my son to name three things that he thinks makes his BFF a good friend. "When she says hi to me, when she plays with me, and when she is super nice to me" was his answer. My initial thoughts went to how cute of an answer that is. But as I thought about it longer, isn't that what we all want? From our friends, our family, our spouses/significant others?
Spoiler alert: it is.
We want the people in our lives to care about us enough to check in with us, to see how we are on rough days and to share in our joys when things are going right.
We want our friends to let loose and have fun with us; whether that means binging a Netflix show while polishing off a pan of brownies, walking around a park gossiping, going out for drinks, or playing Scrabble after school pick up.
We want our friends to be super nice to us, right? We want them to think about us, pay us even small compliments, pick up that small gift that reminds them of you, offer help and assistance when it seems like we might need it.
I'm not entirely sure that I even knew where I was going with this note when I started it. But now that I'm wrapping it up, I think it boils down to this. We spend our lives as parents teaching our kids everything they'll need to know to be good humans, friends, spouses, etc. Sometimes, it's the smallest thing that they do, maybe not even on purpose, that actually teaches us a lesson that we need to know.
So, buddy. Thanks for reminding me what it takes to be a good friend and why I love the ones I have.
May you all have excellent friendly experiences this weekend and always.
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