On Monday, my son brought home his 2nd grade picture. I stared at it and smiled as I searched his eyes for the emotions that he was feeling at that time. He looked sweet and a bit more vulnerable than other pictures. I tried to decipher if it was anxiety, sadness or peace that I saw, but couldn’t get a good read. I showed the picture to my son and told him that I thought it was darling. He said, “thank you” and we went on with the rest of the afternoon. I knew that I needed to get the photos in the mail to relatives and to find a couple of new frames. These thoughts were interrupted by Mine Craft talk, laundry and barking dogs.
The next day, I saw an envelope in my son’s backpack. There was a note written on the large envelope that was signed by the photographer the school had used. I looked inside and half expected that it was a mistake. We had already received my TBP’s pictures and we weren’t planning on doing retakes or ordering more. I removed a large piece of cardboard and saw a single photo at the bottom of the envelope. When I saw the photo, my eyes watered.
I was looking at a new 3×5 picture…a different photo than the previously sent home ones. I saw a picture of my son and standing next to him was another little boy the same age. They looked so darling standing together. Quickly I realized, that the first photo was a closer up version of this one.
“Who is this in the picture with you?”
“Oh…that’s John. That is what you call a friend photo.”
“That’s cool! Did everyone get a friend photo taken?”
“No…just me and John. I was a little nervous about getting my picture taken and John said that he would stand by me so I wouldn’t be scared.”
At this point, I am overwhelmed with emotions and start to cry. My son doesn’t see this because he is completely enthralled with the newest update on the Mine Craft game. His back is turned to me and he continues by saying,” John’s a really good friend, isn’t he?” I quickly agreed and continued to look at the picture.
To most people, experiencing kindness from a friend happens daily. This is not the case with my son and so to see this clear demonstration of friendship was quite emotional.
I looked up John’s mother’s email and sent her a message telling her about the kind deed that her son had done. I got a response from her quickly and she was thrilled to hear about this and thanked me for sharing the news. Her son didn’t tell her what had happened. Maybe he does admirable, acts of kindness so much, that he forgot about this one.
In years past, he was very cautious to call people “a friend” and his unpredictable behavior assured that if there was a friendship brewing, that it would eventually come to an end. This year, my son has boys that he plays with at recess and sits with at lunch. He isn’t compelled to see them after school yet, but when I ask him if he has friends that he spends time with, he can list a few. This is a huge improvement from past experiences where he truly wasn’t interested in spending any time with children his own age.
Who knows if John is going to “be a keeper.” But what I do know, is that there is at least one student in my TBP’s class that recognizes that everybody gets nervous sometimes. Everybody needs someone to lean on.
Thank you, John!