When Friends Disappear

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.

5 thoughts on “When Friends Disappear

  1. When my daughter was in third grade, she had her very first BFF. Solid, consistent friendship, excellent little girl. They were two peas in a pod and did everything together.

    Then, after Christmas break, we found out that this girl and her family had moved back to India.

    I'll never forget my daughter, not a cryer by nature, literally collapsing on the kitchen floor in tears. She sobbed, saying she'd never have such a friend again. It's been 7 years and luckily, she made more friends and good ones, but I'm not sure any of them will ever take that little girl's place in her heart.

  2. I'm so glad to see you blogging on this topic. My daughter is 2 1/2 and had a BFF at daycare and one day she left. It was really tough on my daughter and I wished I would have been more social with her parents as well so we could somehow try to arrange a play date outside of daycare. I know this will probably happen more throughout her life, but it is hurtful as a mom to watch your child go through the pain of missing a good friend.

  3. meauxjeaux says:

    that is tough. i wonder if you could ask the day care to contact b's parents and leave the message you'd like to get together for a playdate and give them your number for you? seems so odd…i can only imagine b talked about o just as much that his folks would want to make a point of letting you know they were leaving so you could exchange numbers. that stinks.

  4. Anonymous says:

    when you say school you mean daycare right?

  5. Actually, Anonymous, when I say school I mean school.

    He's in a full-day pre-k class now, two days a week with aftercare.

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