I remember my first friend. Her name was Tina and she lived down the road from me.
It was such a big deal when we were old enough to ride our bikes the quarter mile back and forth to each other’s houses. Eventually, Tina’s family moved to an area closer to town and I ended up moving two hours away. We lost touch until someone invented Facebook. Now, we can see each other’s kids and celebrate milestones across the miles.
Old friendships hold a soft spot in our hearts. A mom in Ohio named Alicia sent me this story of kindness between her daughter and a long-lost friend.
“My daughter, Adriana, started fifth grade this year, which is the first year of middle school in our town. I was a little nervous about the transition, but thanks to a message from a fellow parent at the school, I learned my daughter was less nervous than her mom!
"To preface the story, Adriana and Riley were friends in kindergarten but when we moved to a new neighborhood, Adriana switched elementary schools and no longer had Riley in class. Adriana wasn’t sure Riley even remembered her. The girls are back in school together.
"Thanks to Riley’s mom, I found out that friendships from kindergarten have some sticking power. Here’s the message she sent me:
"‘Hi! I’m sure we have met before, I’m Riley’s mom. I wanted to share with you what Adriana did today. Riley has had a rough week at the middle school and lunch is the worst. She can’t sit with any of her friends due to her schedule, so a few days this week, she has sat with girls she doesn’t know, but who know each other. It’s been hard for her; a new school, lockers, and lunch without her friends. Today, she sat down and there were seats on both sides of her at a table with some girls she didn’t know. She assumed she would just eat by herself. But Adriana came over and sat with her. A few of Adriana’s friends even came over and asked her to sit with them, and Adriana stayed with Riley because she was sitting alone. That warmed my heart so much and I wanted you to know how thoughtful Adriana is. You guys are doing a good job with her. That’s hard to do at their age. Riley said she thanked her, but please thank her for us. It’s been a rough week and this was just what Riley needed.’
"This is a photo I found of the girls at their kindergarten graduation. Riley is the one hugging Adriana. They grow up so fast!”
Do you have a long-lost friend from childhood? Why not send them a note to tell them you remember the kindness of their friendship?
We can all use a bit of encouragement and a reminder of who we were before the world told us who to be.
Please continue to share your stories of kindness with me at email@example.com. Or send a letter to Kindness is Contagious c/o Nicole J. Phillips, The Forum, 101 5th St. N., Box 2020, Fargo, ND, 58107.
Nicole J. Phillips, a former Fargo television anchor, is a speaker, author and host of The Kindness Podcast. She lives in Aberdeen, S.D., with her three children and her husband, Saul Phillips, the head men's basketball coach at Northern State University. You can visit Nicole at nicolejphillips.com.