My daughter’s friend delivered some unexpected news last week. Without preamble, she sent a one line email declaring that she was moving. To California. Like, soon.
Well. It’s not the first time that one of her close friends have moved away; it’s the third time, actually. It seems to be hitting her in a different way this time, however, which I imagine is due to her developmental stage. She is feeling it more, so of course, I am feeling it more as well. She was visibly sad, and was telling anyone in the family who would listen about how her friend was moving and how much she was going to miss her.
Then a funny thing happened: as I was busily trying to think of a way to help her to feel better, she was busily figuring it put for herself. This is what she did:
- She took construction paper and crayons and made a book for her friend. The book’s title? “Things I like about (name of friend)”.
- She asked me if we could bake some chocolate chip cookies for her friend, having ascertained beforehand that these were her favorite kind of cookies (note: date stamp on photo is incorrect; it’s a new camera and I’ve yet to set the date!).
- She obtained her friend’s new phone number in California, and in addition to placing it in a safe place, she made sure I had saved it in my cell phone as a safety measure.
- She hunted down a gift bag (purple! purple is her friend’s favorite color!) that was big enough to hold the construction paper book without folding it, the container of cookies, and an “I’m going to miss you!” greeting card, then assembled the gift.
So, she did all of these things just by instinct. She thought she was putting together a nice present for her friend and making sure they could stay in touch. I realized that she was processing her grief, and doing it by instinct, and in a healthy way.
Then, she put it all aside and went out in the yard to hula hoop for an hour.
Isn’t it amazing how much our children teach us about life (see note about picture date stamp, #2 above)?