Dad dot info
DAD.info form. Ask questions, get answers
DAD.info | DAD BLOGS: Ben | Special friendship

Special friendship

I took my little boy out for a walk this afternoon and ended up in the local library in an attempt to warm up after discovering that it was freezing outside. I invited him to choose a book for me to read to him, but instead he decided he was going to introduce himself to some of the other kids. Moments of interaction like this really pull at my heartstrings because there was a time last year when there was no way he would have even contemplated playing with anyone else in the room apart from me.

No sooner had he tried to befriend a little girl he had never met before than he had quickly ditched her in favour of someone altogether more familiar – his best friend Annalise walked into the room and completely stole his attention. Annalise is the eldest daughter of my wife’s best friend, Marianne. Jackson has known this little girl from the moment he was born and has attended the same nursery as her since he was ten months old.

As Jackson and Annalise set about disrupting all the parents and children who sat reading quietly in the children’s room, I spoke to Marianne about how I had been observing his behaviour and how moved I was to see that he seemed increasingly comfortable with the idea of making new friends. Marianne has another little girl, Lucia, who was born just a week before Desreen was killed. As she showed off her newly walking legs, which kept her mummy on her toes, I sat back and watched Jackson and Annalise play.

They really are something to behold: Annalise is the gentle boss and Jackson the slightly aggressive second-in-command; they are like sister and brother in how they play; while Jackson refuses to allow anyone to show much affection towards him, he could neither enter nor leave a room where he knew Annalise resided without giving or receiving a kiss or an embrace. They quite simply love each other.

Over the last few months this has become the subject of much amusement amongst our friends and families. Were they both girls we would all be saying that the beautiful relationship was inevitable, that they were the next generation’s once inseparable Des and Maz. The fact that they are not somehow makes their bond even more special and entertaining to observe – like their mums’ friendship was so strong that it was destined to be passed down to their kids no matter their sex.

Their unique affection for one another has always made me laugh. I often send both Marianne and her husband, my friend Olly, text messages to let them know what they did to amuse when I picked Jackson up from nursery that day. Today, however, I felt differently. When we said goodbye one another, almost having to prize Jackson and Annalise and their locked lips apart, I felt tears fill my eyes. I thought about how Desreen should be there with her friend to witness this special friendship unfold. But it wasn’t just that thought that made me feel emotional.

I’ve spent this week intermittently proof reading the book I wrote in the year that immediately followed Desreen’s death. It has brought back lots of memories that I had all but forgotten. It has reminded me just how much I worried about my son’s wellbeing and how I looked to other adults for solutions to all of the problems he went through as a result of his grief and the confusion surrounding the abrupt disappearance of his mum.

Then all of a sudden I was in a room with his best friend: a little girl who is yet to turn four years old. I pictured how she would greet him at the nursery door every single day with a hug when he seemed too upset, distressed, confused or angry to want to enter the room with the other kids. I realised just how much she cared and just how little credit I had given to this little girl he would have so struggled to get through the last hideous fourteen months without. Just as I couldn’t imagine having gone through this ordeal without my closest friends, it occurred to me how much he too has needed his. I just know that few things would have made Desreen happier than seeing her best friend’s little girl taking such good care of her best little boy.

 

This is syndicated content from Life as a widower.

Content reproduced with the kind permission of Benjamin Brooks-Dutton.

 

 

 

 

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the blogger and do not necessarily represent the views of Dad.info.

 

Related entries

Board Games

I used to play snakes and ladders with my family when I was a child. Being the youngest of three boys, it was one of the few games that levelled us all out. Winning tactics couldn’t really be deployed and experience mattered little in determining the final result... I...

tell them

The eighty-five-year-old driver who killed my wife, Desreen, was jailed just before Christmas for eighteen months for causing her death by dangerous driving. He was also banned from driving for life. I suspect he, his family and friends are feeling really quite...

los muertos

“Life can be really tough for the living.” – Mary Beth, The Book of Life It was Halloween this week and as I tucked Jackson up in bed late that night I realised that, of the two of us, I was the one that had spent the day scared. In fact these days I spend a lot of my...

Latest entries

What birth rate is needed to sustain a population?

What birth rate is needed to sustain a population?

Not the most romantic of pillow talk, but while having children is a completely personal choice there is also an optimal birth rate that is needed to sustain a population. And it is 2.1 live births per mother. 2.1 for a few reasons. Sadly even with the best medical...

ASK DEBBIE – I HAVEN’T SEEN MY CHILD FOR FIVE YEARS

ASK DEBBIE – I HAVEN’T SEEN MY CHILD FOR FIVE YEARS

Dads, do you struggle sometimes? Who do you reach out to for help? Debbie Pattison, a qualified counsellor at Fegans can answer your questions. Send them in to Ask Debbie at info@dad.info and if she can she will answer. Today’s question is from a hurt dad that hasn't...

Childcare: what are the options?

Childcare: what are the options?

Modern parenthood is about striking a balance between caring for your children and earning a crust. Many families need childcare options to balance the juggle. If you don't know your nannies from your au pairs, read our guide to childcare to help you decide...

Pin It on Pinterest