Thursday, April 19, 2012

Lessons in Friendship at Five

Myles including his little sis.
Today was the last field trip for Myles as a preschooler.  With kindergarten nearing, it will be on to new adventures next year.  We went to the Kalamazoo Nature Center and had a great time hiking through the woods with his classmates.  Jillian was lucky enough to come on this field trip – her first time ever!  She had so much fun and it was evident she is ready for preschool.  She preferred to stay with the teachers, guide, or class members.  I guess she is already too cool for mom.

I was so happy and proud to watch Myles with his little friends.  One by one, he visited with each of his classmates along the trail.  If it had been me, I probably would have stuck with my tried and true girlfriends as we skipped hand in hand down the trail.  Myles on the other hand, made sure he had his time with each of the kids in his class.  Holding hands, they encountered the trail together.  With lots of kids and parents trekking through the forest, I had two sets of feet to keep up with.  It was always easy to spot Myles, though.  He had a friend on each hand, walking in at least set of three down the path.

The ladies man.
I’m not sure if it is a personality trait, or if it is his age, but he wanted to include everyone (even his sister!) in the conversations and fun.  Whatever it is…it is working for him.  I was so happy to see the kids calling for him, asking him to hold their hand, and laughing, having a great time.  I was so proud that he was even nice to the class “bully”.  A few months back, Myles came home everyday so upset.  The boy was never mean to Myles directly, but he was mean to his other little friends.  Myles always felt so bad when he would hurt their feelings.  He wanted to protect them from him.  Things have gotten a little better and although they didn’t hold hands down the path (the “bully” didn’t hold any hands actually), Myles still had nice things to say about him on the way home.  “Mom, he was soooo funny when he was telling jokes today!!”
Myles trying to impress...

I was sure to tell Myles how happy it made me to watch him having fun and playing nicely with his friends.  He was so proud of himself.  Perfect example of positive reinforcement, I guess!  I also asked him if he had any advice on how to make friends.  Thought I would share his thoughts…

First, I tell them my name and they tell me their name and then I will start holding hands and playing with them.  Everyday when we see each other again and again we become more and more friends.

I really like my friends and sometimes, even when I dont talk or play with a friend for a while, they are still my friends.

As much as I love my friends, I love my mom and dad the most.

Hanging with the boys.
I think he hit on some pretty valuable lessons, right?  Of course, I am partial to his third statement about loving his mom and dad.  Yet, how cool is it that he thought about the friends that he doesn’t see very often.  Friendship sometimes seems to come in waves in periods throughout life.  Miles and responsibilities can come in between friends, but this notion of still being friends even when not in constant contact is so important.  I have many good friends that I can’t walk across the street to visit, but I would call them my friend every day of the week.  At 31, I get it.  I was just impressed that at five, Myles does too.

Thanks to all of you, my reader friends.


  1. Myles sounds like an amazing little man. I'm not exactly surprised by this. As I read your blog and get to know you, as well as having went to school with Ben (who never let anyone feel left out and made sure to take the time to interact with everyone) it is made very evident that both of your kind characteristics have not gone unnoticed. What an amazing example the two of your provide.


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