Friday, February 27, 2009

I’m busy right now

Ever since Larissa and Kara met in their second grade classrooms, they’ve been best friends.

Fair-skinned, blue-eyed blonde Larissa and Kara, with her olive skin, dark eyes and matching hair, seem like two opposites. But they are very similar. They are both excellent students. Both love horses, cats, and dogs. They’re artistic and enjoy drawing. Both love to bake and help in the kitchen. And they like to garden. They were tomboys – running in the woods, exploring, climbing trees. And on top of that, each spent summers in a foreign country – Larissa in Dad’s homeland of Ukraine, Kara in Turkey where her mother is from. They went through getting glasses and braces the same year. In school, they were inseparable. Everyone knew they were best friends. Friends for life, they assured each other.

This year we pulled Larissa out of public school for eighth grade. They could no longer have lunches together, or sit next to each other in various classes. Last year, when Larissa knew that she’d be homeschooled this year, she and Kara discussed how they’d hang on to their friendship, seeing each other on weekends, calling each other, even writing cards.

But it didn’t happen. Kara was always busy – playing sports, doing homework, going to temple with her family, cleaning her room. Always too busy to visit or talk.

Last week Larissa climbed into bed with me and lamented that fact. “Kara just doesn’t seem to want to be friends anymore. She’s always busy. How can you be too busy to talk? We used to talk on the phone even when we saw each other in school. I think that she doesn’t want to talk – or to be friends.”

For several weeks, Larissa has been calling Kara’s house. No one ever answers. Are they out most evenings, participating in sports? Did they go out of town for winter break? Are there problems at home? Did Kara’s dad get laid off? Or – this thought crept into Larissa’s mind – do they see Larissa’s number on caller ID and simply not pick up the phone?

Larissa called Kara a couple of days ago and finally her mother picked up. After a long silence, Kara came to the receiver.

“I’m busy right now,” she said in an aloof tone. “I have to do math homework.”

Larissa was crushed, and I perhaps even more so.


a kelly said...

These life lessons that our children face always seemed to hit me hard too. It's sad when a friendship ends with seemingly no explanation.
Sometimes it just takes time...and maturity for them to come back together again. Or they realize they must move on. I've seen it happen both ways in my daughters life.
Hoping for the best!

Keeley said...

Oh how sad for Larissa! That's such a difficult thing to experience, at any age. =(

Sparklees said...

Poor Larissa! I'm so sorry she is going through this. I wonder if Kara feels jealous, and wishes she could be homeschooled, too. Maybe she's having a tough time at school and feels "abandoned." If Larissa sent her a letter or card, I bet she'd open it. Since they were such good friends before, it might be worth it to try to find out why she's behaving this way. I hope it works out for the best!


The Reluctant Homeschooler said...

Perhaps Kara does feel abandoned, but I know that she doesn't want to be homeschooled. I think that some parents just don't have the type of relationship with their kids where that would work, at least not starting homeschooling when they're already teenagers. Larissa keeps plugging away with phone calls even though she often gets only a brief response. I hope that their friendship weathers this...

What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.”
— Albert Pike, Scottish Rite Freemason (1809-1891)