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Friends

In kindergarten, your idea of a good friend was the person who let you
have the red crayon when all that was left was the ugly black one.

In first grade, your idea of a good friend was the person who went to
the bathroom with you and held your hand as you walked through the scary
halls.

In second grade, your idea of a good friend was the person who helped
you stand up to the class  bully.

In third grade, your idea of a good friend was the person who shared
their lunch with you when you forgot yours on the bus.

In fourth grade, your idea of a good friend was the person who was
willing to switch square dancing partners in gym so you wouldn't have to
be stuck do-si-do-ing with Nasty Nicky or Smelly Susan.

In fifth grade, your idea of a good friend was the person who saved a
seat on the back of the bus for you.

In sixth grade, your idea of a good friend was the person who went up to
Nick or Susan, your new crush, and asked them to dance with you, so that
if they said no you wouldn't have to be embarrassed.

In seventh grade, your idea of a good friend was the person who let you
copy the social studies homework from the night before that you had
forgotten.

In eighth grade, your idea of a good friend was the person who helped
you pack up your stuffed animals and old baseball cards so that your
room would be a "high schooler's" room, but didn't laugh at you when you
finished and broke out into tears.

In ninth grade, your idea of a good friend was the person who went to
that "cool" party thrown by a senior so you wouldn't wind up being the
only freshman there.

In tenth grade, your idea of a good friend was the person who changed
their schedule so you would have someone to sit with at lunch.

In eleventh grade, your idea of a good friend was the person who gave
you rides in their new car, convinced your parents that you shouldn't be
grounded, consoled you when you broke up with Nick or Susan, and found
you a date to the prom.

In twelfth grade, your idea of a good friend was the person who helped
you pick out a college, assured you that you would get into that
college, helped you deal with your parents who were having a hard time
adjusting to the idea of letting you go.

At graduation, your idea of a good friend was the person who was crying
on the inside, but managed the biggest smile one could give as they
congratulated you.

Now, your idea of a good friend is still the person who gives you the
better of the two choices, holds your hand when you're scared, helps you
fight off those who try to take advantage of you, thinks of you at times
when you are not there, reminds you of what you have forgotten, helps
you put the past behind you but understands when you need to hold on to
it a little longer, stays with you so that you have confidence, goes out
of their way to make time for you, helps you clear up your mistakes,
helps you deal with pressure from others, smiles for you when they are
sad, helps you become a better person, and most importantly... loves
you!

 

--Mari Schupp

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