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photo[1]Schuyler lost a friend recently.

I don’t need to say much about this friend. I’ll simply say that I blame myself entirely; I should have seen it coming, and I didn’t, and most of all I opened the door to the friendship in the first place and didn’t protect my daughter’s feelings. I’ve lost sleep over it. More than a little, truthfully.

Schuyler took it hard, despite the fact that they hadn’t known each other long. Schuyler loves entirely, with her whole heart. When she’s in, she’s in completely. But her process of dealing with the end of this friendship was revealing in that it revolved almost entirely around direct communication, not always Schuyler’s strong point. She texted this adult friend and expressed herself plainly, and when her friend wasn’t honest about why the friendship was ending, Schuyler spent a week or so working on a poem about her feelings. It was a good poem; much rougher than her earlier work, but heartfelt and blunt. She compared herself to a flower that was sniffed and then discarded, and to a sad puppy that someone grew tired of and dropped off at the pound.

I found out later that Schuyler actually sent this poem to her former friend. I wasn’t mad when I found out; it was her choice to do so, and I think she felt better afterwards. I asked her not to send anything else without asking first, and when she came to me over the weekend with another hurt note she wanted to send, I convinced her not to. We talked about it, and she agreed that enough was enough. She’s going to try to let it go. I think she’s on her way. This isn’t the first friend she’s lost, and it won’t be the last. But this time, she worked hard to make sense of it. She’s still doing so, and I believe she’s going to be fine.

Schuyler also found a friend yesterday.

The girl is Schuyler’s age, the daughter of a friend of her godparents. Like the friend Schuyler recently lost, this new friend knew Schuyler in large part because of my book, which she’d read a number of times. (In retrospect, if I’d known kids were going to read it, I might have moderated my language a little.) We all had the opportunity to get together for brunch yesterday, and at first, the girls were shy. But they quickly bonded over games on their iPhone and iPad, and appeared for all the world like any two thirteen year-old girls in the world. By the time Schuyler’s new friend left with her family for their home in West Texas, she and Schuylert were texting back and forth, their messages laced with emoji.

I don’t know if their friendship will last; Schuyler is a notoriously awful correspondent, unless you break her heart, in which case apparently she will sent you epic poems. But they were laughing, and they were age-appropriate, and they were nerdy and uninhibited and happy. Schuyler made a neurotypical friend her age, and that friendship will grow, if it grows, the same way her recent failed relationship grew. It’ll happen by text, through the power of words that Schuyler is beginning to well and truly make her own.

And so it goes, like a carousel. Friendship and success, or friendship and failure, heartbreak, laughter, growth, and always always another turn.

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  1. July 1, 2013 |
  2. Karen Lee
    July 1, 2013 |
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    July 1, 2013 |