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Middle School Friendships - Be the One to Move.

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Picture it:

A middle school cafeteria bustling with chatter and clanging plates...students and teachers walking about. Tables filled with students sitting shoulder-to-shoulder. It’s crowded. It’s noisy.

The middle school cafeteria can be a welcomed break from the academic day - a brief time to relax and enjoy time with friends. It can also be a time of stress and worry.

Two students carry their plates, eyeing a spot to sit. They spot their group of friends. Everyone is already sitting, talking, and eating. There’s only one open seat.

Two students. One seat.

The first student suggests to a group of friends, “Let’s all move down so we can sit together.”

No one moves. Eyes dart away. No one gets up.

The second student takes the open seat. The first student is left standing.

I truly don’t believe the things that happen in middle school are done with malice. I honestly feel like kids are simply too focused on themselves - teens and tweens typically are - to appreciate what’s happening around them.

When I heard this story, of course I felt an immediate, deeply emotional response for the student left standing without a seat. Then, after some reflection, I realized that it’s actually the perfect illustration for true friendships —

Find friends who are willing to move for you.

Be the kind of friend who moves.

I will forever remember and remind my children to always be willing to get up and move. Don’t ever leave someone standing without a seat. Move. Get up. Find a place where there are seats for everyone. Always be willing to get up.

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