Lily is My Friend

My morning started with a jolt.  Christ, it’s 6:45 am… Where are the boys?  My youngest usually wakes me at 4:30 am with a little poke here, and a little poke there.  Damn, this is NOT how to start a Monday!  I’m worried that I’ll wake up to a disaster in the house… SHIT… I didn’t set the alarm!  My luck, I’ll be missing a nine-year-old.  To my surprise, everyone was asleep.  Phew!  Disaster averted.  Maybe this will turn out to be a good day after all!  Ha!  That good ole Irish luck doesn’t quite work that way…

I’d somehow gotten the boys ready, fed, lunches made and was going through emails when an incoming email caught my attention.  It was from A’s teacher.  Hmm, already?  I was wondering what she could possibly be emailing me about this early on a Monday morning.  I’m used to getting early-morning and late-night emails from her, but not this early on a Monday morning.  Maybe I forgot today was a field trip day.  Maybe it was to remind me to bring an allergy-free cupcake so he can help celebrate a classmate’s birthday.  I scrolled up to click on the email and noticed its subject line:  “Heart Breaker.”  Now for those of you that know my son… you’ll know that my mind instantly thought that my nine-year-old lady killer must have acquired a new “girlfriend.”  Well… not really.  Not today at least.  The email was to inform me that A’s teacher will be breaking HIS heart today.  She did include a winky face, but I was a bit nervous after reading her announcement.


The attachment she included was titled, “Lily is My Friend.”  Oh boy, here we go.  My heart sank a little and knew this wasn’t going to be good.  The attachment was a social story for him that explained that he has a lot of friends at school and that Lily is a good friend; she is NOT his girlfriend.  “She is just my friend.  I do not call her my girlfriend.  I can call her my best friend or my friend, but not my girlfriend.”  The next line is what nearly crushed my heart.  I reacted as a mom.  I reacted as a mom to a special-needs kid who witnesses how difficult if not impossible it is for my boy to make friends.  I was afraid of how he’d take it.  Would he understand what that one line meant?  Was I overreacting?  I mean, was that term actually that bad?  I understand he’s in fourth grade and I recall being in fifth grade or so when people started calling each other boyfriend and girlfriend, but is that what we really, truly meant?  The line that had my mind reeling went like this, “If I call Lily my girlfriend, she might feel embarrassed.”

My son really is infatuated with this girl, but so am I.  How could you not be?  She’s cute as a button with her round face, sandy blonde hair and big eyes framed with long thick lashes.  She’s so sweet to everyone and has a smile that lights up a room.  She actually pays attention to A when he talks and seems interested even when he’s scripting lines from some Pixar or Dreamworks production.  We think it’s so sweet that he always asks if she can come on vacation with us, or if she can visit his Nana with him.  For our son to have that much interest in someone is saying something.  I wish he had more friends.  I wish he had a pal or a buddy that he shows as much interest in, but he doesn’t.  Girls are calmer and more predictable than boys, so naturally my son surrounds himself with girls.  It doesn’t hurt that he’s a handsome little devil and has a great personality, but that personality seems to be something girls are interested in and not the boys.  Thinking that Lily may feel embarrassed made me so sad.  For whatever reason, it made me instantly think of someone rejecting him and to think that, of all people, Lily would reject him… Well, it just broke my heart.


The social story went on to talk about how we do not kiss our friends at school.  Oh dear God in heaven!  He must have planted one on her at the end of last week, and she probably went home, mentioned it to her parents and they had a conniption.  Poor Kelsey was probably working on the social story over the weekend and brainstorming on how to deal with this delicate situation.  Perfect timing by the way.  Not only have we been dealing with a major regression and health issues, but this may just blow up, depending on whether we will have to distance him and Lily from each other.  He has one friend and now my mind is racing, thinking that he may be left with nothing.

I emailed Kelsey back asking if anything specific happened last week and if she had to do this today.  Mondays are hard enough without something like this.  She assured me that nothing really happened, that she’d just noticed that he’s been introducing her to people as his girlfriend, and that she thought she’d head it off before it started getting complicated.  At this point, he was probably already at school so I left it to her to know how to handle it.  I was definitely a bit distracted at work until I heard back from her on how he took it.


He did just fine and didn’t seem fazed, but I didn’t take it so well.  Our kids grow up so fast.  So damn fast.  As he’s nearing puberty and those preteen years, he’s only going to be exposed to more and more misunderstandings, rejection and heartbreak.  It’s a rite of passage, I understand that, but it’s so much harder when you know your kid doesn’t fully understand.  I can’t protect him from everything, but boy do I want to try!

~ Cupcake

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6 Responses to Lily is My Friend

  1. Shell says:

    My 11 yr old son said to me, “Mom, I have a confession. I have a crush on Emily. Do you think she will be humiliated?” He has learned that his affections and love are not wanted or returned by his peers. Rejection, even disgust, is all too common his response in this society. A couple years ago, he had been climbing trees and talking with a new neighbor girl, making her feel welcome and filling her in on the neighborhood. The next day we saw her with another girl, one who had been my sons friend and played at our home many times. But the “friend” pulled new girl aside and said, “Oh thats just N. We dont play with him. He’s got something wrong with him.” And the poor new girl backed away with shock and disgust from my son. He turned to me with a horrified face and asked,” Why Mom, why did she say that?” And then the sobbing of a broken heart.
    Dont tell me kids can be cruel. That former friend has an older brother with autism too.
    She simply didnt want to share any more of her life with autism.

  2. planetpj says:

    This just hurts my heart. You could be talking about my Zach. He has been calling “Jasmine” his girlfriend since pre-school. Will he be calling her his girlfriend in 4th grade? I don’t know, but this is heartbreaking to think about.

    Sorry you and your sweet boy are learning this lesson so early.

  3. Kiwismommy says:

    My daughter’s friends have been all boys. She learned at a very young age to steer clear of other girls because of her sensitive hearing. Because little girls are screamers, shriekers, and screechers. Like Lily, we had a little boy that was the most handsome beautiful child at school, both inside and out. He went out of his way to be nice to my daughter and had the self esteem to back it up and stand up to others. He once ran back down the hall at school, told my daughter, I forgot to say Happy Birthday, kissed HER on the cheek and ran back to the line to catch the bus.
    Now that they are freshman I asked her the other day how he was doing. She told me he doesn’t even acknowledge her anymore, but added “he told me we were just friends and that’s it!” But she couldn’t convey to me exactly what she had said to illicit that response. I am heart broken. I fear he has outgrown his compassion for her and is keeping a distance because of something she said that made him uncomfortable. He has been a rock in her life, one of the most popular kids that always ensured she would be included and accepted. It is a huge loss for us but possibly a sign they are all growing up, growing apart. I hope it changes but doubt it will. We are working on language in regards to friends, best friends, boy friends, etc. To her there is little distinction to others the distinction is huge and the affect devastating. Relationships are our biggest challenge in life.

  4. KFuller says:


  5. luvbugtmr says:

    My little guy has these major crushes and, well, it IS heartbreaking – for today and for what tomorrow holds…

  6. Nadia Guerra says:

    Thank u for sharing. I can relate perfectly. Eventhough my son Ray is 5, your story made me have a glimpse of the future…which I normally don’t do as I am trying to keep my head above waters in the present…
    I hope everything is well and you can find a fun and happy way to explain the social story…turn it around to the bright side for him!

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