We first met Corbin when we moved into the ward two years ago. He was just about the cutest three-year old I ever did see, and he was equally sweet and smart to boot. I know I wasn’t the only mom in the ward who wanted Corbin to be friends with their child. It was a highly sought after position. I remember jokingly commenting at playgroup along the lines of “I wouldn’t mind at all if Corbin and Megan got married” and was met with reactions of bared teeth and angry eyes from the moms of other three-year old girlies. Okay, maybe not, but there definitely was a resounding chorus of “get in line!” Corbin is the oldest of three (equally adorable) boys, and his mom and dad are just about the salt of the earth. I had high opinions of all of them when we first met, and I have even higher opinions of all of them to this day.
For a while, Corbin and Megan were just peers. They were in the same class at church, but that was about the extent of their relationship. They would play together at playgroup or ward activities, but since Corbin was so “popular”, Megan would often hang back from the crowd. While there were plenty of sweet and fun children Megan’s age in our little community, I just saw Corbin as the perfect little pal for her. When her fifth birthday rolled around, I asked her who she would like to invite. She wanted to invite her cousins, and…Corbin. Not one other of her church or preschool classmates was on the list. There was even one girl who she referred to as her “best friend” (pretty sure this girl was unaware that Megan felt this way about her) and even she didn’t make the cut. She just wanted Corbin.
So Corbin was invited. And he came. And it was fun. But even then the friendship didn’t truly blossom. In fact, I am not sure exactly when it happened. I just know that kindergarten started and they were in the same class. And then one day they only had eyes for each other. No exaggeration.
I don’t think there could be two children better suited for each other. Both children are bright, funny, and sweet. They have similar interests that are unlike the interests of other kids their age. They make jokes that are only funny to each other. They don’t fight and they don’t get mad at each other. They write each other notes at school, and give each other gifts. The thing is, this isn’t just some kindergarten crush. These two don’t even know what a “crush” is (and trust me, there are plenty of kids their age who DO know what a “crush” is). They just GENUINELY care about each other. When Corbin is not in school, Megan mentions him in her prayers at night. When Corbin was at a friend’s house and the mom was watching “The Biggest Loser” he asked the mom to tell him all about it, so he could tell Megan what he knew (true story!) At first, I thought Megan was much more invested in the relationship than Corbin. But then I saw the way he treated her and the way he acted around her, and I knew that my little girl was a part of something special.
My heart aches tonight as I write this, because as happy as it sounds, it was almost too good to last. Corbin and his family moved last weekend. Not too far away (about 20 miles), but far enough away that Megan and Corbin’s relationship likely has an expiration date. He’ll finish out the school year in her class, and we’ll continue playdates as often as we can, but once the Summer begins…well, it’s too sad to even write about.
My Megan doesn’t have many friends. In fact, Corbin is her only real friend. She doesn’t care for anyone else the way she cares for him, and no other child is as good a match for her. Megan has always had difficulty in social situations, and it’s pretty severe (all part of her Aspergers) so Corbin has been such a bright light in her life (and MINE) the last few months.
I know this is long, but I have one last thing to share. A tender mercy of sorts. This past Sunday was supposed to be Corbin’s last Sunday at church. Some Sundays, the only way we can convince Megan to go to church is by reminding her that Corbin will be there. I told her that after this week, she will have to make a new friend. Well, she arrived to primary, and Corbin…wasn’t there. But there was new boy there. And with the way Megan’s mind works, she thought, “new boy = new friend” and so she set herself down next to this boy and was good to go the rest of the block. After church she told me all about her new friend (who also showed up in her kindergarten class the next day). I know that he might not end up being her soul mate, but just that little experience will make the transition all the easier for Megan, and I know it was no mere coincidence.
It’s bittersweet to experience this first parenting milestone of losing a best friend. I know there will be more friends along the way and that they will come and go. I will never forget Corbin and the imprint he has left on the heart and life of my little Megan. Thanks, Nibroc. We love you.