Best Friends Forever?

I’ll never forget when I was in fifth grade, and my best friend suddenly decided to replace me with Jennifer Eden, a sweet, chubby girl she had been playing with increasingly often.

“She lives closer to me than you do,” my friend explained, popping a chip into her mouth and avoiding my eyes. “Being her best friend will be more convenient, that’s all.  Don’t worry, we’ll still be friends too!”  I can still feel the tears stinging my eyes as I tried desperately to find a hole in her argument.  It did make sense…

Best Friend Angst was definitely a part of my childhood I would have been happy to do without.  It wasn’t until high school that I finally had a group of friends that could just hang out all together without having to create constantly shifting rankings.

The other day I casually asked Roni who his best friend was and breathed a discreet sigh of relief when he said with uncomplicated cheerfulness, “Oh, I don’t know. I like all my friends.”

Well, I guess it’s official now. The Helicopter Parenting Society has in fact determined that best friends may not, in fact, be forever.

“Still, school officials admit they watch close friendships carefully for adverse effects. “When two children discover a special bond between them, we honor that bond, provided that neither child overtly or covertly excludes or rejects others,” said Jan Mooney, a psychologist at the Town School, a nursery through eighth grade private school on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. ‘However, the bottom line is that if we find a best friend pairing to be destructive to either child, or to others in the classroom, we will not hesitate to separate children and to work with the children and their parents to ensure healthier relationships in the future.'”