Illustration: Maya E Shakur for FREDERICK & SOPHIE
On Friendsgiving, we celebrate that Wally and us are the bestest friends! We have a Mad Hatter’s friends-party, and we eat cupcakes and popcorn and ice-cream. We hug Wally and tell him that it’s our PAWty, and he is PAWsome. He eats his favorite organic carrot pup cakes! Our manny George plays the piano, and we sing a terribly loud song. We make popcorn and watch a friendly movie with all of our doll, monster, and teddy bear friends! When George asks us what being a friend is all about, we show him Frederick & Sophie’s* Guide to Being a Very Real Best Friend!” (*that’s us, Frederick and Sophie)
In Good Times and Grumpy Times
Very real best friends love each other even when they have a serious case of the grumps. Sometimes a very real best friend is cranky and cold. That’s when we say, “Let’s put on cozy pajamas!” Sometimes he is positively peevish. That’s when we say, “Let’s grab an umbrella, go to the park to jump in a puddle and stamp on the peeves!” Sometimes she can’t find anything she’s looking for. That’s when we say, “Let’s search together, and we either find what we’re looking for or we find a whole new thing!” When you have each other, you can’t have the grumps for long.
A very real best friend always stands with you. That’s why if evil wizard Widdershins uses a poisoned-apple spell to steal your dragon, your very real best friend picks up her sword and launches into battle with you. She also brings the lemon juice to fight an army of angry trolls.
All Alone Together
A very real best friend knows that you can do everything and anything all by yourself and helps you anyway.
When the monster in your closet rattles your hanger and makes a racket, your very real best friend holds your hand when you open the closet door and tell the monster to stop making all that noise!
No Mountain Too High, No Snore Too Loud
When your pet unicorn snores, your very real best friend doesn’t tell you to get rid of it. He makes high-decibel low wavelength wireless sound-dampening headphones from spare parts and a snore transformer that turns snores into nuzzles.
It’s a Mistake-a-Bration!
When you make a mistake, a very real best friend says, “Awesome job!” That’s because a very real best friend knows that making a mistake means that you are trying.
Two Peas in a Different Pod
A very real best friend knows that being different is awesome. When you and your very real best friend are different, you both can learn cool new things, eat different dinners at each other’s different homes, and come up with different ideas to fix a problem!
When you wonder if it’s weird to be friends with the ogre underneath your bed, a very real best friend tells you that ogres are absolutely wonderful, and then invites you to go on a ride on her broomstick. A very real best friend knows that we’re all a little weird and a very real best friendship is like falling into weirdness with each other.
The Look Unlikes
Very real good friends don’t have to look the same. They can be of all shapes, of all colors, and special in each their own way.
Sharing is Caring
When you’re coloring and doodling together, and your very best friend wishes for something yellow, and you wish you had something orange, you say, “Here’s a yellow crayon!” and your very real best friend says, “Here’s an orange pencil!”
Sometimes a very real best friend moves away, goes on a holiday, or goes to a different school. But that’s okay. Very real good friends are like stars. You can’t always see them (especially when your eyes are closed) but you know that they are there.
A very real best friend is someone who knows all about your weirdnesses, and mistakes, and awesomeness, and questions, and doubts, and smartness, and sadness, and loves you for it because a real best friend celebrates the you, you are, and helps you grow into the best person and friend you can be!
With a very real best friend, friendship is a superpower!
Frederick & Sophie