From the day O entered his new classroom more than a year ago, he and B were best buds. You could often spot the two toe heads as soon as you entered the room. Often huddled together, one was all lanky limbs complete with knobby knees and jutted elbows and enormous, doe eyes; the other a sturdy boy, with bright blue eyes and always-tousled hair. Sure, the two had their ups and downs—a scratch here, a bite there, but they always patched things up. If O was particularly nervous about school on the ride in, I would assure him that B would be there, and all would be well. Whenever we arrived, B would shout O’s nickname excitedly, bouncing up and down, hair flopping about, as he awaited O and I to enter the room.
Then one day, B was gone. Switched schools. The daycare is small enough that I noticed his absence almost immediately, and of course, so did O. At first I thought maybe B was just sick, but did a little digging and found out he had transferred.
And now my little boy is quite upset. Every time we drive into school, he asks if B is going to be there.
“No, honey,” I tell him. “B won’t be there today.”
“I think he will be,” O tells me. “We are going to play superheroes. I’m going to be Spiderman, and he is going to be Batman.”
“Sorry, bud, but B goes to another school now,” I explain. “He won’t be there. But you could play with A or E or J. I’m sure they’d love to play superheroes.”
“Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo,” O whines, his voice starting to break.
I quickly try to change the subject or turn on a favorite song to distract him. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.
I rarely saw his parents—only B. I knew who they were, but only to say hi, as our paths very rarely crossed.
I know, in the larger scheme of things, this is just a blip on the radar screen involving friends, friendships, relationships, etc. But it hurts me to see my son hurting. And leaves me wishing I would’ve chatted up B’s parents more.