There are things I’d change about myself if I could. Actually, that’s probably not the right way to put that. What I mean is, there are things I’d change about myself if it were easy. Not easy? Not interested.
But as I was listening to D.J. chatter in the back seat on the way home from school today, I thought, “Why can’t I be more like this kid?”
He started by telling me about the new friend he made. Sometimes this other kid is a pain, but he helped D.J. when he got hurt on the playground. (They later collaborated on removing the bandage, since he didn’t really need it.) Some of the other kids don’t like D.J.’s new friend, because he can be annoying. The big selling point was that this new friend didn’t mind that D.J. already had other friends. I don’t know how first grade dynamics work, exactly, but apparently that could have been a problem.
I have to admit I didn’t follow everything he told me about his new friend. The friend said a bad word, but D.J. didn’t hold it against him because it was an accident. The bad word, it turns out, was “shut up,” which the boy had said when some girls told him to be quiet. As in, “Be quiet,” as opposed to the bad way of saying it.
“Uncle Mike,” he told me, “when you make a friend, you stay friends forever.” I didn’t have the heart to tell him the truth. (Or to remind him of it, since like most of us, he has a lot of ex-friends.) In a way, I am like him, because I often choose to believe Hallmark sentiments even though I know reality is usually more Beavis and Butthead than Care Bears.