You were always a happy face when I walked my daughter into daycare every morning. Your smile was infectious; there was no way I could look at you and not smile back.
Apparently, you made my two-year-old daughter feel the same way. She started talking about you while we were running errands, on car rides, and while getting ready for bed.
“I get to see him tomorrow?” she would ask as she snuggled into the sheets.
“You do! You like seeing him, huh?” The expression on her face would provide a response before the words could leave her mouth.
“Yes. He’s my best friend.”
You always had to give her a hug before she’d leave at the end of the day. You held her hand in the class photo when she was crying and didn’t want to be in the picture. And now that you two are at different schools, you still manage to make her laugh in your Saturday morning dance class or on play dates. I adore witnessing her watch you. You make her light up.
Maybe one day you will ask her to the prom (or she will ask you!). Maybe you’ll be there to pick up the pieces when her heart is broken for the first time, or when her friends tell her that they don’t want to sit with her at lunch. Maybe one day she will tell you that she thinks she is attracted to girls, and is confused and scared. And I have no doubt that you’ll still flash her that enormous, comforting smile, give her a classic bear hug, and tell her that everything will be okay.
Or maybe you’ll grow apart. Maybe you will see each other every once in a while in the hallway of your middle school, or at Friday night football games. You’ll casually say hello as you pass, only slightly aware of the close bond you two used to share.
Regardless what the future holds, I’ll always be thankful for the kindness you’ve shown her over these formative years. I’ll always giggle thinking about your mom asking you, “Who do you love,” and you responding with my daughter’s name. I’ll cherish the times you two spent hours playing together, carefree and blissfully unaware of the world around you.