A Frend for Davis.

Let me tell you a story about two boys I know. One is 7 and one is 37. They are two of the sweetest, most loyal, most FUN boys the world might ever know...but they have both had a bit of a tough time socializing and making friends here in Minnesota. They both think more profoundly than their years might suggest, and they both love more deeply than typical people expect. 

The older one has talked for at least a year about getting involved in something like a workout group or jiu jitsu or something that would push them physically and also might help them make a friend or two. The younger one wants to do whatever the older one does. 

So about two months ago, both boys joined the Alliance Jiu Jitsu gym about five minutes from our house. And after the first few classes, the younger one began talking about a boy named Griffin, and the older one talked about Griffin's dad, Andrew. As the weeks went by, it became quite clear that perhaps both sets of boys had more in common than a casual encounter might suggest. 

Griffin is six and lives in the Cornelia neighborhood in Edina. But he lotteried into a school called Highlands to get into the Continued Progress program. His parents tried for that program because he struggles with ADHD and they hoped a smaller school and a less traditional program might be just the thing. He has had a hard time making friends at school or finding his groove, so another thing they decided to try was jiu jitsu.

As you know, Davis is seven and lives in the Minnehaha Woods neighborhood in Edina. But he lotteried into a school called Highlands to get into the Continued Progress program. His parents tried for that program because he struggles with ADHD and they hoped a smaller school and a less traditional program might be just the thing. He has had a hard time making friends at school or finding his groove, so another thing they decided to try was jiu jitsu.

Andrew and his wife moved to Minneapolis for Andrew's work just over six years ago. They are from California and they have no family in town. They are just getting used to the long, cold, dark winters, but have a hard time thinking of leaving the area because the schools are so great and the place is tailor made for families. They've struggled over the last few years with their son's diagnosis, finding the right doctors, finding the right meds, and maybe even most exhaustingly, watching their son cry when he isn't invited to a birthday party, or feeling like crying when he is invited because you just don't know how it will go.

As you also know, Davis is 37 and he moved to Minneapolis for his job just about four years ago. He is from Texas and he and his wife have no family in town. They are just getting used to the long, cold, dark winters, but have a hard time thinking of leaving the area because the schools are so great and the place is tailor made for families. They've struggled over the last few years with their son's diagnosis, finding the right doctors, finding the right meds, and maybe even most exhaustingly, watching their son cry when he isn't invited to a birthday party, or feeling like crying when he is invited because you just don't know how it will go.

Perhaps the strangest thing of all of it is that the older boy I know, who is tender hearted and struggling to find his fit here, said to me the other day "Well, I guess God finally got tired of waiting on me to get my act together, and he literally dropped a friend right in my lap. Sam- their last name is Frend."