Garrett came home from camp in a foul mood. I heard him stomp through the front door, turn the corner, march into his room, and slam the door shut. I decided to give him a few minutes to calm down before approaching him. After about 30 minutes, I found him sitting on the sofa and gently asked, “Hey buddy. How was camp today?”
“Terrible,” he replied.
“Do you want to talk about it?” I inquired
He let out a long, audible breath and looked at me. “Fine. I had a terrible day because I asked ‘Sarah’ (not her real name) if she would be my best friend at camp and she said yes.” Confused, I replied, “Isn’t that a good thing?”
He continued, “…but then, her friend whispered in her ear and then she told me that she didn’t want to be my friend anymore.”
“Oh. I see. I’m sorry to hear that.” For a moment, we both sat in silence. He had vented and I was trying to determine what to do with the information. I could have gone with the theory of “Boys Rule, Girls Drool,” but that only goes so far. Ultimately, I chose honesty.
“Well, Garrett. Sometimes boys and girls (and grown men and women) like each other, but their friends get in the way. If you like someone and want to be friends, you should tell them and don’t worry what their friends say. I’m sure it made Sarah feel good to know that you wanted to be her friend.” I suggested he try playing with her again the next day. If she wasn’t interested, that’s OK too.
He seemed satisfied with the answer and refocused on the video game he was playing. Garrett is clearly going to be OK. It’s Sarah’s loss…and Sarah’s friend will eventually be shunned by her friends because of her terrible judgement and gossipy ways. She will then grow old alone, spending her nights eating single-serving frozen dinners, and living with her 40 cats who will ultimately eat her face off when she runs out of cat food. (Is that too harsh? Not when you reject my son, it’s not.)