Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Just Being Friends

M, a two-year-old, was carrying around the entire box of our "every day cars," a plain-Jane collection of identical wooden vehicles that are available all the time just the way we have every day dolls. A classmate, S, reached into the box to take one, which caused a silent struggle over the car. Neither is a boy who tends to react vocally and the tug of war drew no one's attention but mine.

Indeed, neither boy seemed particularly upset so I sat where I was only making the informational statements, "Both of you want that car," and "There are a lot of cars in the car box."

M finally wrested control of the car and put it back in the box. I said, "Now M has all the cars and S doesn't have any cars."

Neither boy took obvious notice of me, but almost immediately, M reached back into the box and produced a car; not the one S had originally taken, but a different one, one that for all intents and purposes was identical to the one over which they had fought.

I said, "M gave S a car. Now they both have cars."

They smiled at one another, connecting through the eyes, then they dropped to the floor, the box of cars forgotten. M grabbed a single car and they began driving them side-by-side. They followed one another into a corner where they drove their cars into one another, a slow motion head-on collision. As they pushed their cars together, I wondered if they were going back to conflict, but then they smiled, then they laughed, and they stayed there enjoying their mutually created traffic jam for several minutes, just being friends for as long as it lasted.

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yourfriendship said...

I love your posts & you are so prolific! Inspiring.

Anonymous said...

Hi Tom,

I really love your blog, thanks so much for writing and inspiring!
I'm a teacher in Canada,
and this article was recently published in Maclean's magazine.
I'd love to hear your thoughts on it...
Your words encourage and inspire me as a teacher and a parent,
thanks again!