Karli sat at her desk with a fluttery feeling in her stomach. She looked around her new classroom. It looked like many third-grade classrooms, with books on the shelves, a plant in the corner, and bright posters on the walls. It also had rows of desks filled with children. Karli didn’t know any of them.
Karli and her family had moved a few weeks earlier. Now, on her first day at her new school, Karli missed her old house, her old school, and her old friends.
A tear fell onto Karli’s math paper as she looked down at her shirt. Before Karli moved away, she and her best friend had picked matching T-shirts, painted hearts on them, and signed their names in pink and purple sparkle paints. Karli had decided to wear her shirt to school for good luck. Now she wished she hadn’t. It reminded her of all her friends going to school without her.
Karli hurried home after school and went straight to the room she shared with her sister. Moving boxes still cluttered its corners. They reminded her of a new school she didn’t like and a new house that didn’t feel like home.
Soon Karli’s mom came in and sat on the bed. “How was school today?” she asked.
Karli looked down at the floor. “Fine,” she whispered. Then tears started to well up in her eyes.
Mom wrapped her arms around Karli. “Tell me about it,” she said.
“I didn’t know anyone,” Karli sniffed. “I don’t have any friends here.”
“First days in a new school are hard, aren’t they?” Mom said. “But you know what? You do have friends here.”
“What friends do I have?” Karli asked. “I don’t know anyone.”
Mom smiled. “You have your sisters,” she said. “Dad and I were sealed in the temple as an eternal family, so you will always have your sisters, no matter where you go. Your sisters can be your best friends forever.”
Karli thought about that. She loved playing with her older sister, Andrea, and her younger sister, Laura. But Andrea was in fourth grade, and Laura still went to kindergarten, so Karli couldn’t see them during the day. She explained that to Mom.
“Mom, in our old neighborhood I had my sisters and my other friends too,” she said. “I liked that better.”
“Well, here you and your sisters will become better friends than before. You can help each other through this,” Mom said.
After dinner, Karli went to her room to do her homework. She didn’t know how to work a few of her math problems, so she asked Andrea for help. Andrea knew exactly how to solve them. Then together they unpacked another moving box before bedtime.
The next day in class, Karli answered all her math problems correctly. At recess, she sat on a swing by herself. She watched a group of girls talking and giggling as they played on the monkey bars. Then she saw a familiar person walking toward her. It was Andrea! Karli hopped off the swing and ran over to her sister.
“We have the same recess,” Andrea said. “So we can play together.”
As the weeks passed, Karli, Andrea, and Laura made friends with some girls in their neighborhood. Soon they made new friends in their classes too. By the end of the school year, Karli and Andrea played together at recess with a group of new friends.
But Karli still remembered what Mom had told her. No matter how many friends she made at school, or how many special shirts hung in her closet, her sisters would always be her best friends.
Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
“The Eternal Family,” Ensign, Nov. 1996, 65.
Illustrations by David Habben
Hey, Sophie, let’s invite the new girl to sit with us.
Yeah, it’s no fun to sit alone.