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When my first child started kindergarten I knew I was going to start a tradition that would last for our four kids. I spent a few days before his first day making him a friendship bracelet. Remember those from middle school? Yes, I made my son one and was so proud of it. I mean if you think back to friendship bracelet days, that was a big deal to make a bracelet for someone. It meant that you really liked them enough as a friend to spend hours with some thread attached to your jeans as you weaved something special for them. I loved making them as a kid, and this was going to be my way of sending my kids off to the big scary new school with a part of me.

The night before his first day of school I presented him with this bracelet. In my head I had it going down so awesome that he would be so excited about this new bracelet that I was giving him. I imagined him loving it so much that he wished I would make him 10 more to wear on his arms as he skipped into his new world of school. I had forgotten that he was 5 and hadn’t experienced the joys of friendship bracelets before.

He accepted his new bracelet and nodded as I explained why I made it for him. You see, I had also made myself one and we were going to both have it on so that while the other was gone at school all day we could think of each other. I could tear up just thinking about how sweet this is all over again. I assured him that if he was nervous at school, sad, or missed me all he had to do was look at this bracelet and know how much I love him and that I’ll see him when I pick him up. Who needs the kissing hand book when you have a mom that makes friendship bracelets for you?

On the 3rd day of school we were getting ready and Cayden took off his bracelet and asked if I would wear it for him. I was confused about why he wasn’t cherishing this bracelet the way I had thought he would. I had actually thought that he would walk across the stage at his high school graduation with this special bracelet that his mom had given him when he started kindergarten. I could picture it in my head a million times over. Now he was taking it off and it had only been 2 days of school.

He looked at me and told me that he didn’t like wearing the bracelet, but he wanted me to wear it for him. I smiled on the outside but was crushed on the inside. It was as if I had given him a chain that said Be– Fri—- and he had given it back to me. He was giving me back my friendship bracelet. ¬†Didn’t he know what that said to the giver of the bracelet?

Of course he didn’t, because he was 5. He just knew he didn’t want to be wearing a bracelet anymore to school. I look at this picture sometimes and giggle at my sweet boy heading off to school with a bracelet that his momma had given him. Thankfully now Cayden’s all grown up at ten and I think he’d love to wear a friendship bracelet that I made for him.

My great intentions never work out.