It is so easy to make friends as children, all you have to do was share your favorite toy, live next door to each other, or sit next to them during snack time — and boom! You are best friends. We have all had these special friendships while growing up. Childhood friendships are easier to forge as individualization has not yet set in. These friendships are maintained through affection, sharing, playtime and the enjoyment received from performing activities together. In children the idea of a good time is simple- riding bikes together, crafting fake food from mud, or playing hide and seek. But as we get older, our bonding activities are different- we get drinks together, go on vacations together, or make occasional calls to each other. With age our friendship expectations become increasingly complex, we look for geographical closeness, similar attitudes, values and interests.
Lil U has lost a few good friends. While she was younger, the unbearable sadness was usually accompanied with tantrums, but she moved into new friendships with ease. These days her emotions over loss are expressed with clarity, and grief is the strongest of them. In time she will learn to shield this too, a trick adult’s calls ‘rationality’! The honesty of her emotion rattles me and compels me to react and reach out. I used to calm her by saying, ‘It will be alright’, till recently she said, ‘But it is not alright NOW mama. I am sad NOW.’
I thought back to the time I lost friends. When my closest friend from school moved to another city, it felt like my entire world had caved into a deep, dark abyss. These days I offer no solutions, except telling her that her friend might be equally sad and scared to be in a new environment.
But honestly none of this prepares me for April ….
Lil U & Lil K
Lil K lives in KGF, which also happens to be Lil U most favorite place on earth. Other than the fact that her grandparents live here, the place is where her best friend Lil K lives. When on vacations these two characters are pottering around, keeping themselves busy and coming back home only to eat a meal.
The fun they have, makes me wonder what makes people best friends. Lil K is a car maniac. Lil U loves animals. Lil K plays rough boy games. Lil U loves to talk. Lil K is non fussy eater. Lil U will take hours to finish a meal. They are so different, yet so accepting of each other! Each afternoon as they are coaxed back in for a siesta, the two can be heard giggling in various parts of the house, plotting their next move.
They are fiercely protective of each other and wait for vacations to play imaginary games.
They are curious wanderers. Buddies who climb trees, loiter around and cycle together till their feet can take it no more. Theirs is a sort of relationship that makes childhood special.
This April, Lil K will move out of KGF. The landscape of Lil U’s experiences in her favourite place will change too. I wonder how the two of them will reconcile with this. Lil K to his new city experiences, where free play is not just a threshold away & large open spaces are more elusive. How will Lil U react to the absence of this delightful friendship from her favourite experiences?
These two little creatures are going to miss each other terribly. I am going to miss seeing them together too, walking around aimlessly,erupting into peals of laughter and holding up the heart of childhood.