Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Where Walter Went



Where did Walter move? Can we go there now? Well I don’t care if you come, I’m going there today. I’m going to Las Vegas and I’ll ask the owner if he knows where Walter lives. And then I’ll live with Walter.

Oh, child. I know how you feel.

I remember the first time one of my best friends moved away. Her name was Summer. It was second grade and she was here and then she was gone. I continued on about my second-grade ways and had other friends. And it was fine. And then one night in the shower it hit me that she was really not coming back and I remember standing there crying, a wave of emotion suddenly washing over me with the warm water, and then wrapped up in my towel, going to find my mom, hot tears in my eyes, so she could tell me it would be okay.

It was still final. And I still remember these things.

I don’t know how affected you really are, inside, about the fact that your first best buddy has moved away and you probably won’t ever see him again. I know that you don’t really comprehend the gravity of “ever” or of “final.” But I also know what a great first example of real friendship he was. He was the “fuzzy haired” boy from pre-K, with whom you bonded right from the start amid bullies, pretentiousness and the teacher who lacked any control. You played trucks and LEGOs and wrestled and went to zoo camp and had fun. No biggie.

But as your mama I do comprehend the bigger picture and I am affected, thinking about how this is one of so many relationships that will come in and out of your life as you go on about it. Down your life’s path as it gets intersected here and there by the paths of others. And I am thankful for Walter, for you.

These are the things that matter. You have friends and they are important to you. You are important to them. These are some of the truths of a rich life. I see you learning this in your small ways.

I left Walter’s mom a Facebook message letting her know you had been missing your friend that day. She messaged back saying Walter had just asked if he could talk to you on the computer. That you must have been reading each other’s minds. And I wondered for how long we’ll have these little reminders. These reminiscent memories of first friends. For how long will you miss him? For how long will something spark that makes you pop your little head up and ask, “Where did Walter go?

Walter went. But he stays. He left behind how good it feels to have a good friend. He left behind the capacity to share. He left behind the means to give and receive friendship. What a gift, that fuzzy-haired Walter was.

1 comment:

Adventures In Babywearing said...

Oh how sweet! My best friend moved to Florida when I was little and we kept in touch via letters for a long time but eventually, totally lost each other and I can't even find her on Facebook! I wish I could.

Steph