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December 31, 2012

So I’m not going to do a big summary of 2012 on the parenting front, other than to say it has been full of movement and change–more than most years. Many of the triumphs are ones that would be hard to quantify or describe, but just yesterday we had one which wasn’t.

In October or so a boy I’ll call Sean transferred into Bobo’s classroom; actually both rooms, both special ed and mainstream. The first day he arrived I got a phone call that Bobo had spent most of the day showing him the ropes and encouraging Sean, which was very sweet but we didn’t think too much of it. A couple of weeks later I was chatting with the teacher, and she said, “I have to tell you… Bobo and Sean have, I don’t know how else to say it, FOUND each other.” They are both mainstreamed pretty much all the time but have special ed to provide sensory breaks and support, and they, in a nine year old boy way, fell in love. Not only do they hang out at recess and try to sit together all the time, but they cheer each other on. When one has a bad day, the other does not and offers support. Their friendship is so strong that the teacher has them both earning behavioral and academic points all week in order to have a root beer together on Fridays, and Bobo has only missed the mark once. Sean is good at sports, which Bobo is not but wants to try, and Bobo is good at the arts and is more socially connected, which I think might be nice for Sean.

Bobo had his first playdate at Sean’s yesterday, and it was amazing on a couple of levels.

First, the two of them even look alike, and they spent hours playing–both are easily frustrated, but they are able to calm each other down. Sean apparently told his family that “Bobo is a clone of me”, and the two giggle and wrestle and invent stories and adventures, patiently helping each other and working things out and conspiring to hide Bobo under Sean’s bed so I couldn’t find him when it was time to leave.

Second, I felt an immediate kinship with Sean’s mother. It is rare that we can leave Bobo without that tiny gnawing worry that he will at some point be too much for those watching him, and I could tell this mom knew exactly what to do. But more than that– we talked for twenty minutes before Kevin and I left their house for our sans-Bobo lunch date, because she just knows. It is a rare and beautiful thing to find a parent who just knows about the in-betweener special needs kid, who is successful in some areas but struggling in others, whose development is confusing and wonderful and difficult. She and I both said we were close to tears about the closeness of Bobo and Sean’s connection.

Bobo has quite a few other friends and a couple of other close ones in particular. But Sean, as he says, is his BFFEAWD– Best Friend Forever Even After We Die. I’m under no illusion about kids and their ever-changing world of friendship, but still.  In the rough and tumble universe of third grade, it’s good to have one of those.


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  1. Jenni permalink

    Beautiful! Such a gift to all of you!

  2. fifthlampdown permalink

    That is just wonderful! Maybe you and Kevin can get to be BFFEAWD with parents too.

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