"Momma, Mrs. Taylor reminded us that we have a long weekend coming up. We have Monday off."
"Yep, that's right. When I pick you up after school tomorrow, you'll have an extra day to your weekend."
"Do you think Katie could come over? We haven't been able to get together since school started. And we don't get to see each other much at school since she is in another first grade class."
"Honey, I'm afraid Katie probably won't be able to come over." Momma's face looked sad.
Momma sat down next to me at the kitchen counter. Her face was sad and serious at the same time. My tummy tightened up.
"Sweetheart, Katie and her family are moving to another city."
"What? She is moving away?" I folded my arms over my chest and poked out my bottom lip.
"I'm afraid so. Her daddy got transferred in his job." Momma smoothed my hair. "But she won't be so far away that you can't get together during the summer sometimes. We could go visit her and she can come visit you here."
"Wow, that's a long time to wait to see her." I slid off the stool and shuffled to my room.
I plopped down in my chair and blew out a burst of air.
"Hey, Chloe, why do you have a pouty face?" Bryson said.
"Well, my friend Katie is moving away. I'm really sad. Maybe even a little mad that she has to leave." I plunked my elbows onto the table. "I can't have her over until summer break because she will be too far away. I can't believe that her daddy got a new job and she won't be here for me to play with or spend the night together with."
Mrs. Taylor walked up to my table. "Sounds like you feel a little sorry for yourself there, Chloe."
"Yeah, you should feel sorry for Katie. She's the one who has to go to a new house and a new school and make new friends." McKenzie shrugged.
"You're right. And I should understand more than anybody. I had to move last year."
Bryson held up his pointer finger like he had an idea. "You should do something to help Katie."
"Yeah. You could write to her and tell her some ideas for moving to a new place. I mean, since you did it last year." McKenzie's brows rose.
"Oh, what a good idea, guys. I'll do a type of journal. I could include pictures and stuff that we did. Then I can tell her things she can do to help her when she goes to her new school and new house. I could call it, Moving to a New School by Chloe Ann Parker."
"You can also write her letters. I've done that before," McKenzie said.
"Thanks. You all are right. I shouldn't be such a pout pout. It's Katie who is moving. I'll get right to work on my book for her when I get home."
As soon as I walked into our house that afternoon, I hurried to get everything I would need to make the special book for Katie. "Momma, do you have one of those notebooks I can use?"
"I think so. What do you need it for?"
I explained about the idea that Bryson and McKenzie had helped me think up.
"Honey, that's a great idea. I have some pictures of you two. I'll bring those to you also."
I worked really hard all evening and even through some of the day on Saturday. Finally I was ready to share it with Momma. She was in the den, studying for her Sunday school lesson.
"Momma, I want to show you the book I made for Katie. Do you think you can make sure she gets it? I want it to help her while she is moving."
"I believe I can do that without a problem."
I opened the first part of the book. "This has pictures of things we did together. I wrote about each one." I pointed to one picture. "Remember this one?"
Momma grinned and nodded.
"This is when we played hairdresser, and you fixed our hair."
I flipped to the next section. "This part tells her some things to do that might help her at her new school and house. Like right here I tell her if she feels rocks in her stomach on the first day, she should carry her backpack around in case she needs to puke. That way she won't puke on her teacher or her new friends."
Momma pointed to another spot. "What is this?"
"That's where I reminded her to be a bucket filler. That way she can make friends. See, I drew her a little bucket with hearts and stars." I flipped back toward the back. "This is a place I told her she could write or draw pictures she wanted to remember."
"Wow, Honey, I think that is a great gift for Katie. She'll love it."
"I hope so. I am still sad about Katie moving away, but I know I need to help her feel better. It's not her fault she has to move. And I know how she feels."
"That's called empathy. You know how she feels because you've had to do the same thing. Empathy is a very important thing to learn. It really can encourage us to help others."
"I hope Katie will have a nice teacher like Mrs. Taylor and nice friends like I've made." I closed the journal book. "But I did warn her to check out her neighbor and be very careful if it is a grumpy-bear old lady like Mrs. Smith next door."
Momma chuckled. "Chloe, be nice."
When Chloe finds out that her friend Katie is moving, she feels sorry for herself. She finally realizes that she needs to feel sorry for Katie. Has there been a time you have felt sorry for yourself? Explain.
Chloe decides to do something to help Katie. She makes her a book of memories and then includes advice for her. If your friend was moving, what could you do? Is there something you could make for your friend to encourage him or her?
Chloe's momma tells her that she is learning empathy. Empathy is experiencing the feelings of another person like they are your own. When you feel empathy, you might feel urged to help another person. Why do you think Momma tells Chloe that empathy is an important thing to learn?
If you could write a letter to Katie to encourage her as she is moving, what would it say? Write out the letter.