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TITLE: Timmy Finds A Friend
By Hazel Robinson

Children apprehensive about first day of school from day care to kindergarten
BY: H.R. Robinson
(Word Count - 1,412)
(School-year August 2002
Based on a true story)

It was the first day of school, for five year old Timmy Hall:
he was going to “big school.”! Had talked about nothing but “big school”; the word “kindergarten” brought a broad smile to his face. His mom and dad would smile, too, and say, “What a big boy you are!”

Well, Timmy didn’t feel very “big,” as he and his mother walked through the large double doors at the huge building. Wide-eyed, he looked around. Actually, the school building seemed so big to him that he felt about the size of an ant. Most of the children were running and playing, greeting each other - not Timmy. From the time he entered the building, tears filled his eyes. Timmy was just plain scared! He held tightly to his mother’s hand. He was going to “big school.” But now that the day had actually come, he wasn’t so sure he really wanted to go to “big school.”

Timmy’s mother, Tonya, looked down at her son. She saw the tears, and felt the tight grip he had on her hand. At the door of his classroom the teacher stood, smiling, ready to usher young Timmy into the room.

“Hi, Timmy, welcome to Kindergarten class #2. I’m your teacher, Mrs. Smith, and this is your classroom.”

She reached out to take his hand, but Timmy, turning, grabbed his mother’s skirt and held on for dear life.

“Why, Timmy! This is ‘big school’! We’ve been talking about it for weeks!” Tonya tried to reassure him, but Timmy would have none of it. He wouldn’t let go!

Tonya had to be on her job at 8:00 and it was now 7:45. Fighting back her own tears, she managed to break away from Timmy’s tight hold on her, and with the tears breaking through, rolling down her cheeks, Tonya made her way out off the school building as Timmy yelled frantically,

“Momma, don’t leave me! Momma, don’t leave me!”

By the time Tonya reached her car, she was almost sobbing. What was she going to do? Timmy had been so desperately afraid! He had to go to school, and she needed to work. What was she going to do?
For the whole week Tonya and Timmy went through this same routine. Each night Tonya talked to her son,

“Timmy, you’re going to be fine. You’ll see. By next week you’ll be running to get away from me.”

Well, it didn’t happen that way, but it did happen.

Tonya first noticed the change in Timmy’s attitude about two weeks into the school year. She noticed that when she took him to school, while he didn’t run into the classroom, he no longer held on to her; nor did she see any tears. Smiling, she said to herself, “My Timmy is a big boy!” Once, when she asked him,

“How’s school going, Timmy?”
“It’s okay,” he replied nonchalantly.

Tonya had a feeling it was more than just okay. On another day she asked Mrs. Smith,

“How is Timmy doing?” He seems to be adjusting pretty good; or, is mine just wistful thinking?”

Mrs. Smith replied,

“Oh, Timmy’s doing just fine!”

“What happened? What changed his mind about school?” Tonya asked.

“Timmy found a friend.”

Smiling, Tonya asked, “How did it happen?”

“I had another student, Tommy Johnson, who was having
the same adjustment problem as your Timmy. He too was scared to death! When his mother would leave he would cry too. Well, the bottom line is that, Timmy saw Tommy’s tears, and Tommy saw Timmy’s tears, and before I knew what was happening, Tommy walked over to stand beside Timmy and grabbed Timmy’s hand.”

Tonya grinned; she knew Timmy wouldn’t be the first one to grab another child’s hand.

“I told them bout two little boys in a similar predicament. I told them that crying for their mothers is a natural thing. I said, from the day you were born, you’ve been with your mothers or fathers or some other relatives and/or friends. They were there to take care of you, make decisions for you, and teach you. What they were doing during those years was preparing you for just such a time as this. In our country, it is required that all children, must, at a certain age, attend school. You have no choice. Now, it takes some children longer to get used to the idea of not being with mother or father for any length of time. So, there are always some who will cry for their parents.”

“The two little boys I want to tell you about came to be friends because they had something in common with each other; just like you two. They cried because they missed being with their mothers. I’ll call them Boy #1 and Boy #2.”

“School had started. Both boys stood by the classroom door crying. Suddenly Boy #1 walked over to Boy #2, stood beside him and grabbed his hand. Boy #2 tried to pull his hand away, Boy #1 was persistent - this means, he held on to the hand. Not only that, while he wiped his own tears with his other hand, he said to Boy #2, “Don’t cry, I’ll be your friend.” Then, Boy #1 put his arm around #2’s shoulder. Suddenly Boy #2 smiled, and looking at Boy #1 said, “I was so scared without my mommy. I had no friends. I thought I was all alone even though mommy always told me that wherever I go, Jesus would be there with me.” Boy #2 interrupted, “My mommy told me the same thing!” “When I thought about that,” continued #1, I wasn’t scared anymore. I began to remember other things she had said to me. I remember she once told me, “If you want to have friends, you have to make friends, and, most of all, always be ready to smile. Sometimes we cry; everybody does, even grownups; but, really, most people would rather smile than cry.”

“One more thing,” continued Boy #1, “Mommy said, “if you remember this, then, when you think about what I told you about Jesus, you’ll know He’s with you, and that will bring a smile. Main thing you’ve got to be ready to smile instead of cry.

“From that day on,” said Mrs. Smith, “Boy #1 and Boy #2 became the best of friends, and there were no more tears. Would you believe me,” she said to Tonya, “that Timmy and Tommy applauded when I finished giving them this short version of the story?”

Mrs. Smith went on. “I then said to the children, here’s a poem I learned a long time ago. It will be our poem for the whole school year. Every morning we’ll recite a line until you’ve all learned it. Then every morning we’ll say it so that we can keep it fresh in our minds.”

I went outside
To find a friend.
There were no friends there.
I went outside to
Be a friend.
Friends were everywhere.

“Can you,” I asked them, “see where this poem connects to the story I’ve just told you? Sometimes all we need to know is that there is someone else feeling just like we feel; someone else just as lonely; someone else just as sad, and in this case, someone else longing for his or her parents. Having a friend can make a difference. That’s what happened to Boy #1 and Boy #2.”

Tonya thanked Mrs. Smith, smiled at Timmy, and left for work. She was satisfied that, from now on, Timmy would be all right.

I wrote this story for one of my co-workers so, at the end of the story, I told her: “Theresa, tell your son this story in your own words. Share with him that Jesus loves him, and will always be with him. Not only that - remind him how much you an daddy love him, and that this love is what makes you too be with him at all times. Tell him your love for him and his love for you is what connects each to the other. You will be there!

Flash! Theresa told me today, August 26, that when she picked her son up from school he was all smiles. Friday he’d told her he’d found a friend. Today he told her, “Mommy, I had a good day!”
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