No more pencils, no more books . . .
It’s the last day of school today. Baby Girl is taking a small stack of 1 X 1 cards I made for her with her address and her parents’ phone numbers and email addresses. She wants to give these to her friends to play over the summer. I’m like her agent.
There is also last day drama surrounding one of her friends whom several other of her friends feel does not treat them well and for whom a letter is being prepared, to deliver at the final bell, which states, “We don’t want to be your friend anymore because you don’t treat us very well.”
Hours have been spent on this matter at home the past three days–the recitations of the friend’s offenses is specific and narrated with great flair–with Baby Girl’s mother and I asking her to consider how that letter would make her feel if she received it and also affirming that she doesn’t have to remain friends with people who treat her badly. We’re asking questions, trying not to give orders but trying to make the case for permanence; the last day isn’t really the last day. There’s next year, maybe even a surprise summer encounter. Among ourselves, my wife and I are dreading a conversation with the mother, who we both like a lot, when her daughter comes home with some tear-stained Wide Ruled with our kids’ name on it. This is a test case in decision making for a nine year-old. It is as fraught as anything her parents will decide today.