A year ago when Thomas started preschool he became part of a dinosaur loving triumvirate. Thomas, Jesse and Matthew did everything together. They ate lunch together, napped next to each other and, of course, played dinosaurs together. They were three horns on the same Triceratops.
A few weeks ago, Thomas and I were changing into our clothes after swim lessons. “Today was Matthew’s last day,” Thomas said.
Thomas and Jesse are best friends of the first order. As a part timer at the school Matthew was never quite as close to either Jesse or Thomas. Nonetheless, he was a vital part of the threesome. This was a big deal.
I looked up from tying my shoes and looked at Thomas. His arms hung straight at his side. He was staring at an empty spot next to me on the bench. Then he shifted his eyes to mine and said, “he was one of my best friends. I remember when ….” He paused. “So, first it was me and Jesse and then one day Matthew showed up and we were just always together. And now. He’s gone.”
Matthew was off to summer camp and then, ultimately, kindergarten. Kindergarten at a school different than Thomas’.
Today Thomas has less than two weeks left at school, but this Friday is Jesse’s last day. Like Matthew, he will be attending a different school than Thomas. Thomas talks about this almost everyday. He’s sad. I’m sad too.
I know that Thomas can see his two friends again. I know that there will be play dates and birthday parties. And even if those things don’t happen, one day this loss will be all but forgotten. More importantly, there will be new best friends, new gangs and new loves. Some will last a lifetime. Others will be short and sweet. All of that awaits him. I can’t wait to see him live it. And yet, to see this mighty threesome come to end, well, it breaks my heart.