“Molly!” a little girl cried, her red curls bouncing as she ran over. “I missed you so much!” Another busy weekend had passed, and I was dropping Molly off at school on a chilly Monday morning. “I made you something!” the girl chattered excitedly, opening her backpack, and fishing out a piece of paper. Molly stood quietly by, clutching my hand tightly. The little girl smiled as Molly unfolded the card, which read “Dear Molly, I missed you. You are the best girl in the world!” My heart kersploded into a million pieces, as Molly thanked the girl and gave her a hug. As those adorable red curls bounced away, I turned to Molly and said “that was so nice! What’s that girl’s name?” Putting the card in her pocket, Molly shrugged and said, “I dunno.”
Ah yes, the mercurial friendships of five-year-old kids. One day you’re best friends with someone, the next day you can’t remember their name. Oh, to be five years old again! Where misremembering your classmate’s name is normal, instead of a social faux-pas. If only adults had the grace of children, to forgive us when names are forgotten!
It seems like most young kids are social butterflies, flitting happily from person to person. As I kissed Molly goodbye, I thought back through the cobwebs of time to my own kindergarten year. I remembered a little brunette named Ginny, who was the best artist in the class, and Laura, whose mother cut her hair into a painfully short pageboy cut. Then there was Lucas, the cutest boy in kindergarten, who could flare his nostrils on command and delighted in doing so. Kids are so great at living in the moment; the future is so far away as to be indefinite, the past already gone. Nothing exists except how they feel right now; ask them what they’ll be doing in six months, and they’ll have no idea, because six months is a lifetime away. Friendships are fast and furious, made and broken in the span of a lunch hour. Hopefully the drama won’t come until later; unfortunately, I have too many tales of woe regarding best friends and broken promises! Oh, and the little red-haired girl’s name? Later that night, Molly told me it was Sarah. SARAH. Molly forgot both of our names!