MY OWN BEST FRIEND
By Grandma Baadsgaard
I love you Emma. I hope you have a wonderful birthday.
When Emma went to visit her grandma she frowned and said, “I don’t have a best friend any more. She just told me she is moving.”
Grandma sat down on the couch next to Emma and took her hand.
“My parents used to move a lot when I was your age,” Grandma said. “I learned how to always have a best friend. Your best friend is not out there Emma. Your best friend is in there.”
Grandma pointed to Emma’s heart.
“What do you mean?” Emma asked.
“Friends out there move away or stop being nice to you. Friends don’t always stay your friends. But there is one friend you can always count on.”
“I can’t be my own best friend.”
“Oh, yes you can. You can do fun things with you. You can listen to music with you or look up at the stars or read great books with you.”
“You mean it is fun to be alone?”
“Yes. If you are Emma’s best friend you will take good care of yourself. You will eat nutritious food, exercise and have happy thoughts about yourself.”
“What if sometimes I think bad thoughts about myself?” Emma asked. “What if sometimes when I look in the mirror, I think I’m ugly or fat?”
“Then it is time to begin practicing. When you look in the mirror, you can think happy thoughts about yourself like this: ‘I like my strong healthy body. I like my shiny blond hair, my big blue eyes, and my beautiful smile. I like the way I dance, sing, work hard and never give up.”
“The other kids at school make fun of each other sometimes. I don’t want them to make fun of me, so I just listen.”
“Another way to be your own best friend is to speak up and protect someone from unkind comments when you are around. You can teach those around you how to be a friend. Sometimes you will have to be strong and stand alone. ”
“What if sometimes I don’t want to be alone?” Emma asked.
“You just need to practice being your own friend. You can think thoughts to cheer yourself up. You can think thoughts like this: ‘This will be my delightful day because I’m going to do all my favorite things like play with Jez or jump on the tramp in the sunshine.’”
“What if sometimes I don’t like myself because I make mistakes?”
“When you make a mistake you can be your own best friend by telling yourself thoughts like this: ‘Everybody makes mistakes because that is how we learn. I can try again and again and again . . . and never give up on me.’”
“Sometimes I’m afraid to be alone.”
“No matter where you go, there you will be. You can’t run away from yourself so learn how to like being alone. You are the only person who will never leave you. If you are kind to Emma, you will always feel loved and in the best of company.”
“Maybe we can be good friends too,” Emma said.
“That is a wonderful idea,” Grandma answered. “That’s what grandmothers are for.”