My best friend, Ari

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Ari and I play on my hammock AKA his favorite new toy.

My little Ari has recently decided we’re best friends. I don’t know what snapped in him, but the shyness is gone, and now he’s always either in my room or asking me to watch TV with him. If we’re not coloring, we’re watching Instagram videos, or playing on my hammock. My hammock is actually his favorite thing. He asks me to “ayun-ayunan” and if it’s too hot, he schedules a time:

“Miss, nanti jam tiga, mau ayun-ayunan.”

Miss, later at 3 o’clock, I want to swing.

His scratchy little voice and giant eyeballs could literally get me to jump off the roof at jam tiga if that’s what he wanted.

He swings for hours while I push him and he screams “lebih cepat! Lebih cepat!”

Faster! Faster!

Another universal thing with kids.

He still sometimes remembers he’s shy, so when he first asks me to play I can see him working up the courage out of the corner of my eye. It sometimes takes him a few minutes of looking at me and then looking away before making the decision to talk to me. Then there are other days he strolls into my room like the king of the castle he is, plops himself on my lap and says it’s time to play.

I don’t know what made him decide we’re friends now, but I am eternally grateful. My best friend is Ari, he’s seven, and fills my days with joy.

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