What to Do with Friends
June 2011

“What to Do with Friends,” Friend, June 2011, 4–5

What to Do with Friends

To have a friend, you must be a friend, too (Children’s Songbook, 262).

Jenny’s friend Shella was coming over to play, and Jenny had great plans. She wanted to show Shella her little sewing machine that really worked. She wanted to take turns jumping rope with the pink jump rope. And after that she wanted to play a game.

“Shella’s here!” Mom called.

Jenny ran to the door to greet her friend. But before she could take Shella into the house, Shella ran to the backyard and exclaimed, “Let’s ride bikes!”

Jenny’s younger sister Holly was outside. She pointed to a big green bike. “You can ride that one, Shella. It’s our sister Mary’s, but she never rides it.”

Shella’s eyes sparkled. “I love to ride bikes. Can we ride all the way to the end of your road? I wish I lived on Sibyl Road. It has so many shady trees, and there aren’t any cars on the road. Come on, let’s go!”

Shella and Holly swung onto their bikes and started down the driveway. The next thing Jenny knew, they were pedaling down the road without her.

Jenny didn’t know what to do. Her throat tightened, and tears formed in her eyes. She wanted to shout out, “Holly didn’t invite you over. I did! What about my plans?”

Jenny’s mind was stuffed with thoughts and questions: “Why did Holly have to get in the way? What should I do? I’m so mad and so sad. I should just forget them and go inside.”

Jenny wondered if she should tell Mom or Dad. But she knew what Dad would say: “Just be a peacemaker.”

Jenny looked down Sibyl Road and saw Shella riding next to Holly. They were getting farther away. She thought about how Shella didn’t have a bike, and even if she did she couldn’t ride on the busy highway near her home. All her brothers and sisters were older, so she didn’t have anyone to ride bikes with.

“Shella likes riding bikes, and she likes being with Holly,” Jenny thought. “I guess I could ride bikes too. Maybe they didn’t mean to hurt my feelings.”

Jenny had a calm, peaceful feeling. She got on her bike and rode out to meet Shella and Holly.

“We made it to the end of the road and back,” Shella said. “Let’s do it again. I love coming to your house to ride bikes!”

All three girls pedaled up and down the street again and again. A smile spread across Jenny’s face as they laughed together. Jenny realized that she could still have fun even if her plans didn’t work out. She was happy that Shella was having such a good time. Jenny planned on riding bikes the next time Shella came over to play.

It’s hard to be a peacemaker sometimes.

But it’s worth it!

Illustrations by Matt Smith