Chances are I won’t be giving you this letter for a long time. Right now, you can’t read or write and some of you can barely talk yet. I’m writing you this letter now because I never want to forget to tell you how you made my son feel today, and so many other days, and hopefully so many more to come. I hope it finds you right when you need it most. That you will be reminded of a simpler time when friendships were easy and know that all those years ago, you made an impact on someone’s life without even knowing it. 

When my son first started school, I was worried. Worried he wouldn’t make friends, not because he isn’t an amazing guy, but because making friends is tough even in elementary school. I also knew his first friend was going to be more important than any other friends he would make the rest of his life. You see, your first friend always holds a special place in your heart. It’s the friendship that withstands the test of time and holds so many memories. It’s the friendship that shows you what having a true friend looks like because at this age, you truly love your friends. You don’t care what kind of clothes they wear, how they talk, if they even talk at all, how well they read, or what they like to play with. You just care if they are kind and if they share and that they make you laugh a little louder and smile a little brighter. 

I’m no longer worried about who my son’s first friend might be—because it’s you.

You are the one he tells me about every afternoon when he gets in the truck, the one he says he can’t wait to see first thing in the morning before school, the one he tells his brothers about. You are the one he searches for when he walks in the classroom, and when he spots you he finds you are already looking for him, too. His entire face lights up and a smile appears that he can’t wipe off because he knows he gets to spend the entire day with his best friend. 

You laugh at his jokes, you play with him on the playground, you tell him you are so happy to see him, and you let him know how much you miss him when he’s not there. Then you look over at me and give me the biggest grin and wave the cutest little wave and my heart melts because I couldn’t have picked a better first friend for him. If I had to, I would choose you a million times over. 

To my son’s first friend, I don’t know how long this friendship will last, but what I do know is that right now, in this moment, I am so thankful for you. I am thankful that when he looks back and thinks of you, he will always smile. Thankful that you are the kind of friend to my son who sees the best in him and makes him laugh in ways only a true friend can.

Out of all the friends he could have chosen, he chose you and because of that, I love you, too. 

Nikki Pennington

Nikki is a stay at home mom to three, high spirited boys. Three years ago she became a motherless daughter after losing her own mom to terminal brain cancer. When she is not playing the role of referee for the boys, she spends her days trying to encourage and inspire others that are on the grief journey. Read more from Nikki on her blog: http://www.grieftohope.blogspot.com/