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"To my son, who has no friends."

He hardly talks about school, but when he does, it’s not good.

Today you told me you have no friends. You told me you feel sad and lonely every day. You confessed that the only part of school that you like is the bell to come home to me.

And my heart broke.

I knew kindergarten was going to be hard for you. You’re my middle child and unlike your older brother and younger sister, you don’t have any other kids your age in our immediate family.

So you have always played mostly on your own. It just ended up that way. And we thought it was okay. Until you started school and discovered that playing alone wasn’t so much fun anymore.

You tried to make friends at the start of the year, filled with hope and armed with the tricks I had taught you.

I told you to ask them what their names were, to tell them yours, to ask them to play, to bring your ball to school. You did all the things I suggested and at first they worked. But you’re not comfortable with others. You don’t know how to handle conflict. You’re not very good at taking turns. You remove yourself from play when you feel uncomfortable.

And now, you sit on the silver seats all day.

I know when you’ve had a particularly sad and lonely day because you come home and your shoe laces are shredded. You play with them to keep yourself occupied during the long minutes of recess and lunch, while all the other kindergarten kids run around and play and you sit alone.

You’re smart. You’re one of the brightest children in the entire year. Your teacher told me this. And I said to her, “I’d prefer for him to have friends than be smart”, and I meant it.

All you need is just one friend who chooses you each day. I don’t know why it hasn’t happened for you and I don’t know how to help you. All I can do is keep on encouraging you to try and make friends. “Don’t give up,” I told you when you explained that all the other kids are already in groups. “They tell me to go away,” you said.

And for a second sadness for you flickers into fury aimed at six-year-olds.

Today we bought Pokemon cards, and some new high bounce balls. You said other kids play with them. You’re going to use them to try and make some friends.

I will have my fingers and toes cross baby boy.  I know one day you’re going to have the kind of friends you deserve and I will do everything I can to try and help you find them.

Just don’t give up baby boy.

Mummy loves you.

Want more? Try:

A letter to my daughter about happiness.

A letter to my son who was called a nerd.

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