In kindergarten your idea of a good friend
was the person who let you have the red
crayon when all that was left was the ugly
black one.

In first grade your idea of a good friend
was the person who went to the bathroom
with you and held your hand as you
walked through the scary halls.

In second grade your idea of a good friend
was the person who helped you stand up
to the class bully.

In third grade your idea of a good friend
was the person who shared their lunch
with you when you forgot yours on the bus.

In fourth grade your idea of a good friend
was the person who was willing to switch
square dancing partners in gym so you
wouldn't have to be stuck do-si-do-ing with
Nasty Nicky or Smelly Susan.

In fifth grade your idea of a friend was the
person who saved a seat on the back of
the bus for you.

In sixth grade your idea of a friend was the
person who went up to Nicky or Susan,
your new crush, and asked them to dance
with you, so that if they said no you
wouldn't have to be embarrassed.

In seventh grade your idea of a friend was
the person who let you copy the social
studies homework from the night before
that you had.

In eighth grade your idea of a good friend
was the person who helped you pack up
your stuffed animals and old baseball
cards so that your room would be a "high
schooler's" room, but didn't laugh at you
when you finished and broke out into tears.

In ninth grade your idea of a good friend
was the person who went to that "cool"
party thrown by a senior so you wouldn't
wind up being the only freshman there.

In tenth grade your idea of a good friend
was the person who changed their
schedule so you would have someone to
sit with at lunch.

In eleventh grade your idea of a good
friend was the person who gave you rides
in their new car, convinced your parents
that you shouldn't be grounded, consoled
you when you broke up with Nick [or Glenn] or
Susan, and found you a date to the prom.

In twelfth grade your idea of a good friend
was the person who helped you pick out a
college/university, assured you that you would get
into that college/university, helped you deal with
your parents who were having a hard
time adjusting to the idea of letting you
go...

At graduation your idea of a good friend
was the person who was crying on the
inside but managed the biggest smile one
could give as they congratulated you.

The summer after twelfth grade your idea
of a good friend was the person who
helped you clean up the bottles from that
party, helped you sneak out of the house
when you just couldn't deal with your
parents, assured you that now that you
and Nick or you and Susan were back
together, you could make it through
anything, helped you pack up for university
and just silently hugged you as you looked
through blurry eyes at 18 years of
memories you were leaving behind, and
finally on those last days of childhood,
went out of their way to give youreassurance that you would make it in
college as well as you had these past 18
years, and most importantly sent you off to
college knowing you were loved.

Now, your idea of a good friend is still the
person who gives you the better of the two
choices, holds your hand when you're
scared, helps you fight off those who try to
take advantage of you, thinks of you at
times when you are not there, reminds you
of what you have forgotten, helps you put
the past behind you but understands when
you need to hold on to it a little longer,
stays with you so that you have
confidence, goes out of their way to make
time for you, helps you clear up your
mistakes, helps you deal with pressure
from others, smiles for you when they are
sad, helps you become a better person,
and most importantly loves you!
.