Last school year, Noah had a best friend. His name was Kuzey. Kuzey was born in Belgium, as was his mother, but his father had been born in Turkey.
Kuzey was kept back a year because his speech and overall grasp of the Dutch language was not up to par, according to school officials. And they were not wrong. So Kuzey repeated kindergarten – level two, and found himself in Noah’s class. Naturally, this made Kuzey one year older and nearly a whole head taller than Noah at the time. But they became best buds almost immediately at the start of the school year, a forever friendship in the making. Playdates were successful and good times were had by both boys. I attributed their friendship to their love and knowledge of all things Skylanders and Playstation. Most of the other four year olds in their class were not yet exposed to all of that yet, though Noah had been.
Because…Noah is constantly wanting to leap forward in time, which is something I’m hyper-sensitive to. I catch myself very often, pausing, having to choose whether or not to delve into a certain topic of conversation with him. His EQ, by all accounts, is already very high, and I don’t take that lightly. I feel the need to reign him in at times so he doesn’t fly too high on his emotions and levels of empathy.
I fear he may one day reach that proverbial sun and get burned…
Let Noah Be A Kid
I have recently been chastised by some people around me, that I should “let Noah be a kid.”
All I can say is: I want nothing more than for Noah to keep being himself.
Two weeks ago, as we were clearing things out of the way to set up our Christmas tree, Noah came upon a little striped rubber ball. He picked it up. I knew what was coming.
“Kuzey’s,” Noah said.
I went back to unpacking Christmas ornaments, thinking Noah would follow suit. But he didn’t. Instead he went and took a seat on the rug, ball in hand, and stared at some drawings hanging on the wall.
The drawings were from Noah’s birthday party this past March, when Kuzey was last here.
I put down the ornaments and took this photo…
That little ball we’d found, did indeed belong to Kuzey. He’d left it here the last time he’d played with Noah. And then at the end of the school year, Kuzey and his parents had moved.
Kuzey’s family moved to Turkey. Just packed everything up and left. For good.
Where In The World Is Kuzey?
Granted, I’d known about the move for weeks prior. But in my own world of stress and separation, running a business, and otherwise trying to be supermom, I neglected to obtain Kuzey’s contact information. I’d said I would at least get a Skype username from Kuzey’s mom, but I never got around to it. She’d said she’d leave me with their contact info, but somehow July rolled around and she never did.
And watching Noah sit there with that little rubber ball in his hand broke my damn heart. It was not the first time Noah had felt Kuzey’s absence. He’d certainly mentioned Kuzey since the move. But for some reason, finding that silly little ball amidst Christmas preparations really hit Noah…
“Hey…whatcha doing, Noah?”
“Thinking about Kuzey. He was my best friend. I still miss him, mama.” Noah’s words felt so heavy.
“I know you do. And I bet you anything that he thinks about you sometimes, and he misses you too.”
“And I think that’s so special that you two became such good friends.”
I didn’t know what else to say. I didn’t want to make promises I couldn’t keep. And I didn’t want to push Noah any further. I let him sit and chill and ponder whatever his five-year-old brain was pondering. Eventually he got up and joined me, and we resumed unpacking our Christmas ornaments.
I know I shouldn’t beat myself up about forgetting to get Kuzey’s contact info in Turkey, but mom guilt is real. Especially because along the way I learned that it wasn’t video games that made Noah and Kuzey bond. It was because Kuzey was very much like Noah in his emotional intelligence. They always felt safe around each other, no greed or jealousy between them. Despite having troubles with his speech, Kuzey was one of the sweetest and most harmless boys to come into Noah’s life. I chose the word “harmless” deliberately, because I know that Noah cherishes people with temperaments like Kuzey’s.
That’s also why it kills inside every time Noah mentions how much he misses Kuzey. They never truly got to have their big goodbye and see you again maybes. I thought Noah would mention Kuzey less frequently as time went on, but there always seems to be something that comes up that reminds Noah of Kuzey. I guess that’s what friendship is all about.
Even for a kid…
On Tuesday, December 19th, we made contact with Kuzey’s parents thanks to a secret angel in our circle who read this blog. On Thursday, December 21st, Noah and Kuzey got to video chat – Belgium to Turkey. Both boys were a bit shocked but ecstatic. Kuzey to great care to show his new room in his new house to Noah… The cutest part was Noah sitting there with his hands folded proper nearly the whole time!
Noah is SO happy and SO excited at the prospect of reconnecting with his best bud! Thank you universe!