The following year when Jackson entered the Pre-Kindergarten program at the same school, he was beyond thrilled to find that Avery was once again in his classroom. And he naturally fell back into step with talking only of his best friend Avery after school each day. He was even known to have to take a time out at school for throwing a bit of a tantrum when he couldn't sit by Avery at snack time.
A few months ago Avery's mom mentioned to me that they were moving to California for Avery's daddy's job. I was sad to know my little guy's friend wasn't a forever-friend. I personally have a few that I knew from preschool through to high school, who I've been so lucky to recently have gotten back in touch with via online social networking (aka Facebook). I guess I was hoping Jackson and Avery would have that same kind of friendship. But it was not to be...
On Monday I found out today would be Avery's last day. I took Jackson into my lap at home, and explained to him that Avery was moving far away, and would no longer be in his classroom. It was hard for me not to be emotional, as I watched him try and comprehend this information himself. He sort of grasped it. But not really. I'm sure he didn't really "get" that his best pal wouldn't be there to laugh and pal around with any longer. I wish I knew a better way to explain it. But then again, at the age of 14, I watched my best friend in the world pull out of my driveway, heading for her new home far, far away. It was horrible and lonely, and at the time, one of the saddest things I had experienced. And honestly, I don't want my son to experience that kind of sadness. I think he's too little to feel that deeply about a friend anyway, at least I hope so.
Today was Avery's last day at school. Jackson made her a card -- which he signed himself "To Avery, Love Jackson." I admit it, I cried when I read what he wrote. He did it all by himself, without even spelling help from me (though Love was spelled Luve). And after class he gave her a big hug good-bye, and told her he would miss her. Is my little guy really only 4 years old? Because his good-bye showed the maturity of a much older child. It was sweet and sincere, much like the friendship Jackson and Avery have.
Avery and Jackson on Halloween, 2008