When my youngest son was in kindergarten he had a friend named Frankie. They were tight, like only 5-year-old kids are, but then the unthinkable happened.
Frankie’s family moved away.
My boy was devastated. He was sad for weeks. He talked about Frankie nonstop and missed him terribly. We comforted him and reassured him that he still had many friends to play with.
“I know, Mom, but Frankie is special.”
Two years have gone by and Riley has never stopped missing or talking about his friend. It is as if he has been grieving. If someone mentioned Frankie he would become upset. A few friends have moved or changed schools over the last two years and each time Riley would be reminded of the loss of Frankie. It was like he lost him over and over again.
Last week he mentioned Frankie again and I decided enough was enough. Even if Riley and Frankie couldn’t be in the same town anymore, maybe they could be pen pals or at the least talk on the phone. The world has gotten smaller. With all the technology we have this separation seemed ridiculous. Facebook, for the love.
I can’t for the life of me figure out what took me so long to think of this. I was focused on the wrong problem the whole time. As mothers it is in our DNA to help our children however we can and I thought I had. I loved him through his pain and I tried to comfort his sadness, but I missed the mark. We can’t fix all of our babies’ hurts, but when we can, why not?
With the help of teachers and mutual friends I was able to find Frankie and was delighted to learn that we had been mistaken in assuming they’d moved far away. He was still in the area. He hadn’t gone far at all!
Several days, a few emails, and a round of texting later, Frankie’s mom and I had connected and arranged a surprise playdate for the boys. Tonight, when the door opened and my sweet little boy saw his friend standing on our front porch my heart burst. Our world is filled with so much ugliness it is easy to be disheartened every day. This reunion was nothing short of pure love and sweetness. Just two little boys who missed each other, rediscovering their friendship.
Immediately, those years melted away with a huge hug and they were off and running. It was action figures, Legos and pizza. At the end of the evening, after we’d taken Frankie home with promises of more visits in the near future, my sweet boy was grinning from ear to ear. His world was right again.
“Thank you so much, Mama. Best day ever.”
Yes. Yes, it was.