Friday, May 23, 2008

Tender Heart

My sweet Ethan... he has such a tender heart. He has so much love to give that he can hardly contain himself sometimes. He is always thinking of others and always wants to help out others any way he can. Today we shared a tender moment that left my heart a bit raw...

In yesterday's post, I mentioned a little girl moving out down the street. I said her name was Juliana. But I guess it's really Brianne. I don't know... one of the names is real, the other is obviously not. Apparently, from what Mike has determined (from our other neighbors), they have a tough life and their home is not the happiest. That makes me sad. I can't imagine my children living in an environment where they didn't have happiness or where they didn't feel safe and loved at all times. The thought makes me sick inside. Nevertheless, that is her life. Well, Ethan befriended her.

This is a big deal for Ethan. He has some social tendencies which make it difficult for him to sometimes interact with others. He doesn't always understand social "rules" and so others sometimes find him awkward or different. But he really liked this little girl and I think she liked our boys as well. Why on earth would he have to befriend the one person who is moving OUT of the neighborhood? Anyway... over the past couple of days, she has been outside a lot as her father has been moving everything out of the house. They have played tag, shot super soakers at each other, and just played. When she gave him a bit of attention, he latched on and she became "my best friend". He wanted to share everything with her and do things for her. It was sweet.

Well, today was moving day. I could pinpoint the exact moment when she left... for it was the same moment that he came into the house and I could hear him crying. I said, "What's wrong Ethan?" and he answered, "She's gone. She's just gone and I miss her. She was my best friend." And honestly, it took everything in me not to burst into tears for him. While I know and understand that this was a fleeting friendship (which lasted exactly two days!), I realized that to him, it was very real and very deep and he sincerely misses her. I understand that these are the types of experiences that mold who we are as human beings. But it hurts this mama's heart to see her baby hurting inside.

I hugged him for a long time while he sobbed and told him how much I loved him. I explained that that happens sometimes... friends move away... but we get to make new friends. He shook his head and said, "I'll get over this. I just want to go and put flowers on her driveway." SIGH... how sweet is that? He is SO sweet and so tender.

Thankfully, when you're six years old, chocolate chip cookies can fix a world of problems so we went into the kitchen and baked up a batch. They are really yummy! (I wish chocolate chip cookies could fix adult problems! But they do make a difference, if I do say so myself.) The boys had fun mixing dough and shaping the dough into balls... and of course devouring them, warm from the oven.

He got over himself pretty quickly and even added some humor to my afternoon. As we were placing dough balls onto cookie sheets, I kept rearranging the ones he'd put down so that we'd have neat, even rows. He finally looked at me, sighed, and said, "Mom, you're just not getting my artistic instincts!" :-) I love my sweet boy!

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