Yesterday after dinner, the Bean made an announcement: "I am going to write my phone number on a piece of paper to give to Henry on the bus, and maybe he will call me some day!"
Henry and the Bean are six (6) years old. Their friendship, begun last year in kindergarten, is built on a firm foundation of mutual, abiding love for all things Thomas and Friends. They used to sit next to each other on the bus and discuss the engines in their respective toy collections. There was a lot to talk about. For a long time, engines were all the Bean ever wanted for Christmas and birthday presents. She wore a Thomas the Tank Engine costume for Halloween two years in a row. (The Peanut loves Thomas stuff too, though she's refusing to wear the costume a second time - dang.) We have accumulated a whole bin full of engines, each with a different name and personality. Henry groks this. He has a Thomas-themed playroom.
I see Henry's mother around town from time to time. When we first met, she said she hoped Henry wasn't bothering the Bean... evidently he used to come home from school and report "Bean smiled at me today!" or, sighing, "Bean didn't smile at me today," leading her to think maybe he had too much riding on the Bean's attentions and might make a nuisance of himself. I told her not to worry on Bean's account; they seemed to be having a great time.
One day soon after the Bean started taking karate, she got off the bus giggling like mad. "I karate chopped Henry," she said, "and we can't stop laughing."
How cool, to have a friend like that.
They're in different classes this year, but I've seen them smile at each other across the cafeteria at lunchtime. It is adorable.
It occurred to me that it's a little soon to get into the whole waiting-for-the-phone-to-ring dynamic, but it seems we don't have to worry about that just yet. After declaring her intention, Bean went off for a piece of paper and a pencil, but came back with the box of magnetic letters to play with on the side of the fridge with her sister. "What about writing your phone number, Bean?" I asked. "Oh, I forgot," she said, but didn't go back to it.
Still, we'll have Henry over to play trains, while they're still little enough to find pure joy in it. And Mr. Sandy's made a mental note to keep a veeeerrry close eye on that boy over the years...