How to Make a Friend 101

Step One: Find a kid at school that looks and acts exactly like you.

Step Two Six: Invite him to your house (be sure to give him your address).

Step Two: Have your mom write a nice note to your new friend's Mom/Dad/Great Aunt/Legal Guardian.

Step Three:  Have your friend's mom call your mom.

Step Four: Set up a time and place to meet on neutral ground.

Step Five: Meet up at the park (Be sure to check your fly).

You know this school phase of life is so new to me.  There are so many little things I didn't realize I wasn't prepared for when I sent my baby off to play and learn with strangers.

For instance, what happens when Isaac makes a friend?  I'm horrible at making friends, myself.  I remember this specific time in college when I had a lab partner that I really liked.  We seemed to click in our one class together.  When finals came I knew I wanted our relationship to branch out of the classroom but I couldn't do it.  I remember finishing my final and thinking, this is it...  It's now or never.  My heart pounded as I considered passing her a note.  How do I give her my number or ask her to hang out sometime without it seeming like I'm asking her on a date?  I never figured it out and left the would-be-friendship in that classroom.  Lydia, if you're out there, I really liked you in a totally platonic way.  We should hang out sometime!

Last week, Randall picked Isaac up from school on Friday.  All the way home, he was talking about his new friend, Jake Rushing.  Isaac asked if he could come over and play and we agreed that would be fun.  When Isaac got home, he stood at the mailbox and waited.  Randall asked him what he was doing.  He was waiting for Jake Rushing to come over.  Apparently, Isaac had invited him over already.  

Randall asked, "Did you tell him where we live?"

"No.  Where do we live?" 

Randall reminded him of the address.  

Isaac then started chanting our address aloud to remember to tell Jake Rushing (there are two Jakes in Isaac's class so Jake may forever be Jake Rushing to us) the next time he saw him.  

I then explained that we needed to talk to Jake's mom or dad first before inviting him over.  But I didn't really know how to do that.  I have never seen this kid, much less his parents.  

So I decided that I'd write a note explaining that I was Isaac's mom and that Isaac would love to invite Jake over sometime to play.  I wrote down my phone number and asked to be contacted so we could set up a time to meet and play. 

I didn't know if he lived with his mom or dad or grandparents or a legal guardian of some sort.  I didn't know how to be politically correct and say in a polite way that I don't trust my kid to play with you and you may not trust your kid to play with me, so we better meet and get to know each other a little better before our kids become blood brothers.

But I sent a cordial note in Isaac's bag on Monday and Jake Rushing's mom called on Tuesday and we set up a play date with the boys at a nearby park for Wednesday.  

Wednesday came and Isaac could do nothing but talk about going to the park with Jake Rushing!  We kept busy all morning and sent Isaac to school.  When we picked him up from school we went straight to the park.  Jake Rushing had to take the bus home and drop off his school stuff and then drive back to the park. So we had 20 minutes or so to ourselves at the park.  It was a good thing, too, because as soon as we got there, Asher had to poop.  

So I took Asher home (there are no bathrooms in our small neighborhood park) and decided to change into shorts myself.  I threw on my shorts, wiped Asher's butt and was back out the door and to the park.  The Rushings showed up shortly after we arrived for the second time.

Jake Rushing gets out of the van and runs across the street to Isaac.  They scream and immediately get to playing.  I sit and commence the small talk with Jake Rushing's mom.  But what's funny is that Jake Rushing seems to be the perfect match for Isaac.  They are both fair skinned, blond boys.  And they are both running around screaming their heads off at the same pace.  I can't keep up and they're driving me a bit crazy but it's comical how similar these boys are.  Mrs. Rushing says that Jake told her that Isaac was the silliest boy in class. .  .  Great.

But the boys (and all three siblings, Asher and two more Rushings) are getting along very well and Mrs. Rushing and I are too.  An hour goes by quickly and that's when I noticed that my fly was down… Thank God I was wearing a long shirt that covered it completely.  I found a chance to xyz as I chased after Asher who was swinging a thick stick, twice his height, way too close to the other kids.  Zip! Zap!  Crisis resolved.

The kids wrestled all over the ground and pushed each other in the swings and played super heros and "video games" on the picnic tables.  Asher put mud war paint all over his face, arms and legs as well as on Jake Rushing's and Isaac's shirts.  The kids ate cookies and drank juice boxes and got all their energy out.  The play date ended well and there is even talk of a second date in the near future.  

And Zip! Zap! that's how it's done folks!

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