Cheering Up a Friend
By Anne E. Johnson
“What’s wrong?” Lara said. “Don’t you want an apple?”
“I’m not hungry,” Sandy said. “I’m sad about my birthday party.”
“But a party should make you happy,” said Lara. “We’re all coming to your party next Saturday. You’ll get lots of presents. And I bet your mom will make a cake.”
Sandy frowned. “Mom says I can’t have a birthday party. John is sick again.”
John was Sandy’s little brother. He was often sick. Sometimes he even had to go stay in the hospital.
Sandy started crying. “I want a birthday party.”
“Don’t be sad, Sandy,” Lara said, trying to cheer her up. “Come on, let’s find something to do.” They sat together on the couch and watched Sandy’s favorite cartoon. Although she stopped crying and had an apple, she still looked sad. They played a board game, and Lara let Sandy win. But she still looked sad.
After Sandy went home, Lara thought about her friend. She kept thinking about her during dinner. She was still thinking about her when she got into bed. Sandy couldn’t sleep. Wearing her teddy bear PJ’s, she walked into the den. Her dad was reading a book.
“Hi, honey,” said Dad. “Why aren’t you in bed?”
She sat down on the plush carpet and picked at it. “My friend Sandy is sad,” said Lara. “She can’t have a birthday party because her brother is sick.”
“That’s too bad,” said Dad. “It’s hard when someone is sick all the time.”
“I wish I could make him get better.”
Dad got up from his desk chair and lay down on the carpet next to Lara. “Only doctors can do that. But maybe you can cheer Sandy up. I bet you can think of something special to do for her.”
“I’ll try,” she said.
All the next day, Lara thought about how to help Sandy feel better. Then she saw something at school that gave her an idea.
A boy named Steve couldn’t fit all his paints in his paint box.
“You can put some in mine,” said Sandy.
Suddenly Lara knew just what to do. She ran all the way home from school. “Mommy, can we have Sandy’s birthday party here?”
Her mom smiled. “Yes we can. What a nice idea. You’re a very good friend.”
The next day at school, Lara gave Sandy a big surprise. “Would you like to have your party at my house?”
“Really? You’d do that for me?” Sandy gave Lara a great big hug.
On Saturday, Lara and her mom and dad decorated the house with crepe paper. They made little sandwiches and put out boxes of fruit juice. They even made a cake from a box mix. Lara smoothed white frosting all over it, and her mom wrote “Happy Birthday, Sandy!” in pink frosting.
Lots of kids from school came to Lara’s house that day. Everybody wanted Sandy to have a nice birthday. All afternoon they played games and gave Sandy presents. She looked happy, and that made Lara happy, too.
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