Back in first grade Brendan met the two boys that would become his best friends. By chance all three boys have been in the same class for first, second, and third grade. We already know that one of his friends will not be in his class next year as he moved over the summer into another school district.
Brendan is sad about that, but thankfully the boy’s parents thought a new house and a new school all at once might be too much and arranged to have him attend our school for one final year. It’s given Brendan more time to come to terms with his friend leaving and to realize that even though he doesn’t live down the street from us anymore doesn’t mean they won’t see each other.
In fact Brendan was quite angry at first, and caused the two boys to get in a fight about the move. I had to explain to Brendan that his friend had absolutely no say in choosing to move, and that he was probably just as upset about it as Brendan was. Brendan was actually blaming his friend for the entire move and thinking that he was purposely leaving. Once he understood that, they were able to make up and be friends again.
I’m not 100% clear on how their friendship blossomed, but I believe they are a good pairing. Brendan’s friend is desperately shy, which I believe makes it very difficult for him to make new friends, while Brendan is very outgoing and will be anyone’s friend. They also have very similar home lives. Both are the oldest, and have a little brother and sister. In fact, his brother and sister are very close in age to Brendan’s brother and sister. (his brother went into kindergarten this year, while Cameron will go next year and his little sister is just 4 months younger than Kaylee). They grew up in the same neighborhood, and had houses with identical layouts (gotta love those cookie cutter home companies).
The boys have done many, many sleepovers in the past two years and when we were planning Brendan’s birthday party his mom told me they’d been intending to have Brendan over to spend the night again but getting settled into the house had prevented it. So I wasn’t too surprised last Saturday when my phone rang to see their name on my caller ID .
I was just pulling into my driveway when the call came in. I’d been at the grocery store picking up a few things because we were scheduled to get together with some friends that night. When I answered it was actually Brendan’s friend on the phone instead of his parents. He wanted to know if Brendan AND Cameron could come over and play. I couldn’t believe my luck. Not only would Brendan get to have some time to spend with his friend, but I wouldn’t have to listen to Cameron whine about it.
It turns out that the boys have the same problem at their house that we have at our house. Whenever Brendan and his friend get together they have a little brother tagging along demanding attention. It annoys both of the older boys, and the three spend more time bickering than playing. So his parents had gotten the idea to have Cameron come over and be the little brother’s playmate. Brilliant. (we’d actually had a similar thought with Brendan’s other friend because his little brother will actually be going into kindergarten with Cameron next fall)
We worked out the details pretty quickly. I’d drop the boys off at their house about an hour later (it would take me that long to throw together overnight bags since they’d be spending the night as well). We were a little concerned about Cameron spending the night. He’s only done a sleepover a couple other times with one of his cousins, and he’s never successfully stayed the entire night. So we made sure they knew they could call us any time all night if Cameron wanted to come home.
As it turned out, we didn’t need to worry. I don’t know what was different about this time, but Cameron made it through the night just fine. According to Brendan he was a little scared, but he was able to master his fears and make it through the night. In talking with the parents on Sunday morning having the two sets of boys paired up was a good idea, and really cut down on the number of fights they had to break up. They said the added benefit was that it gave us a bit of a night off.
I couldn’t agree more. And we’re planning to repay that favor the next time we arrange for Brendan to have a sleepover with his friend. Maybe when the girls get a little older we could swap all three kids around.