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Girl Power

Simon has, and has had, many girl friends in his short life. Not girlfriends, mind you, he’s still too young and innocent to think that way, but girls who are friends. I have assumed all along that this will pay off in about four years when he suddenly “sees” girls and knows how to talk to them.

Today I learned that I don’t have to wait so long for Simon’s equal opportunity approach to friendship to pay off. It’s all about class assignments, which were mailed out to families last week ahead of school starting next week. Simon had seven close male friends in his class last year: Apurv, Jacob, Rhyse, Isaiah, Tanay, Menelik, and James M. Only one of them was placed in his class for next year, and that child might have moved out of state over the summer.

His kindergarten bestie, James C. is also not in his class. For the last few days—since we’ve been back from NYC really—I’ve been reaching out to people, only to discover that they were placed with different teachers.

By yesterday afternoon, I was feeling slightly panicky. Where the heck were the boys? Well, not the boys, exactly, but his boys? Was Simon going to have to start all over with friends?

Silly me. His friends Olivia and Brooklyn were placed in his class, and it turns out that’s enough for him. Here was our conversation:

“Simon, honey, you might be starting over with friends next year.”


“Yeah. So far, I can’t find anyone else who has Ms. _____.” I’ll keep looking, but I think you’re going to have to make new friends. Are you ok with that?”

“You mean I don’t have Olivia and Brooklyn after all?”

“No, no. They are in your class for sure.”

“Then I’m not staring over, Mama. I have friends.”

Well of course he does! How did I miss this in a child whose best friend in the world is a girl? For that matter, how did I miss this when my own childhood friends were evenly split along gender lines? Simon gets ample boy-time on the soccer field and tennis court these days. He’s not lacking for male companionship. So if most of his school friends are girls, he’s fine with that. In fact, he plays school with his girl friends on play-dates.

Plus, it turns out that one of his old kindergarten friends was put in his class, as was a friend from kindergarten and first grade. One is a boy, and one is a girl. I’m going to take a page from my Simon’s book now and not say that one is therefore more important than the other.

It’s amazing sometimes how our kids not only hear what we say, but internalize it better than we do!


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