They say as adults we make friends for a reason, a season or a lifetime.
This saying could also be said of when you are three.
Zachy has made a lot of friends for a reason.
As a baby, the reason was probably because their parents were our friends.
As a toddler at nursery, perhaps an interest in the same toy, book or game was the reason they played side by side.
He has also made friends for a season – at various swimming classes, singing classes and football classes, before moving on to the next activity and a new set of playmates.
He starts tennis lessons next week and I am sure he will find someone to buddy up with for the duration of the course.
Although, the friendships that stand the best chance of lasting a lifetime will be the ones he chooses for himself.
The ones where true connections are made and adventures shared. Someone to confide all his deepest secrets to and know that no matter what, someone has got his back.
There are quite a few children he gets on very well with at pre-school. However, last year he started spending more and more time with two children in particular.
They soon became the Woody and Jessie to his Buzz Lightyear.
(for their privacy, I will refer to them throughout the rest of this post as Woody and Jessie, although these are not their real names, obviously…)
It started slowly with the three of them always playing together in the garden when we went to collect him. Some days, it could take 15-minutes to catch them as they dragged every last moment out of the day.
After a while, the staff started telling us that they had become inseparable, choosing to spend the majority of their days together.
At home, Woody and Jessie were regularly mentioned in role play games. It was all ‘Woody this’ and ‘Jessie that’.
Zachy looked forward to going to nursery so that he could play with them, and at weekends he’d ask if they could come over.
It was only a matter of time before Woody’s mum suggested a weekend playdate, so we all checked calendars and arranged a time.
When the day finally came around, the excitement levels were set to MAX.
At Woody’s house, the three of them raced up and down the corridor squealing with laughter.
For 3 hours.
When it came time for Zachy and Jessie to leave, they had a complete meltdown. At nursery the following week, they told everyone about their weekend together – including every detail of what they had to eat and drink. Every toy they had played with, every book they had read.
Since then, there have been more playdates, walks in the park and trips to the theatre.
There was Jessie’s birthday party, where the three of them bounced in and out of the ball pool, cracking themselves up.
For 3 hours.
Joined at the hip, eyes alight, hugging.
So innocent, so pure, so completely and utterly thrilling.
Last weekend it was Woody’s birthday party and of course, his two little pals were invited.
Zachy did not leave the birthday boy’s side all afternoon. I joked to his mum at one point that Zachy was not far from cocking his leg to one side and claiming Woody as his own.
The parents of his friends have become our friends, and he chose some really fab ones for us.
They have made this part of the journey all the more pleasurable. They have been a rock and an ear. They get it.
This September, Buzz, Woody & Jessie will all part ways as different catchment areas whisk them off to different schools.
New alliances will be made, new friendships will be formed. This is the very nature of life.
If Zachy is very lucky, he will get to experience this bond many more times.
But, I will always remember Woody and Jessie. They were his first best buddies. He chose them all by himself.
Much like the memory of his first food, his first steps and his first word, they are engraved on my heart forever and I will treasure them always.
Do you remember your first childhood best friend?