August 11th, 2010

Broken Hearts, at 5

Kate Chretien

I pulled up to the school parking lot next to the playground and scanned the scene for Elise. I had to look twice before spotting her. She was crouched down low to the ground, entirely separated from the other children running around like, well, children. It struck me as odd since she’s usually the center of activity: the social butterfly, a little leader.

But here she was, digging by herself in the woodchips. Something was off.

I called her name as I strode closer. She looked up at me. Her face was streaked with dirt. There was a sadness to her, a hint of lonely. What happened?

“Ally said she wasn’t my friend anymore. She told Mrs. Jones on me.”

Ah, I was beginning to see.

I looked up to see Ally trudging glumly towards me, wearing the same tortured expression on her face. Trudging ever so slowly. “Elise said she wasn’t my friend anymore, and she doesn’t like me.”

This was a lover’s spat. (Or, a 5-year-old-BFF-spat). Sad yet so sweet at the same time. The poor things.

I assumed couples’ counselor mode and tried to bargain a peace treaty (hug).

“Hey, guys, you know you both really love each other and are good friends. I think a hug will make everyone feel better.”

Elise shot me a look and started walking the other way while Ally stood, watching her leave, pushing up her glasses with her finger.

For the next 10 minutes, I did my best to convince the two that a truce (and hug) was in order. I was operating under the same rule that couples shouldn’t go to bed mad at each other, translated into 5-year-old-girl-friendship terms: BFFs should not leave the playground mad at each other. Ally seemed willing to let bygones be bygones but my little Elise seemed to have inherited a stubborn streak. *looking around, whistling*

Finally, I gave up. It was getting way too late, and we had to go home and get dinner ready.

“Alright, Elise, let’s just go. You can make up with Ally tomorrow.”

I turned to go.

Elise left my side and climbed up the first few stairs of the playground equipment where Ally was and unhesitatingly hugged her.

And like that, all was healed and right in the world of two 5-year-old girls.

I walked Elise back to the car with my hand on her shoulder and silently wished her friendships that could always mend so easily. When that’s all it took.

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This Weeks Tip

We did a review a while ago of dry shampoo. Here’s an alternative when you don’t have time to wash, but want to get rid of the oily-ness. Sprinkle some baking soda on your hair, comb through then quickly fluff your hair with a blow dryer. (note: You can also add a little scented baby powder to keep your hair smelling clean!)