Behind the Scenes: About a Friend

Sometimes I worry about the words I write…not so much what other people think of them, although that happens sometimes.

I mostly worry about them when I’m writing about someone…because I want my words to give a voice and a true reflection of what that person means to me.

Or, to us.

So today I’m pulling out the tissues…just because I know I’m going to need them…and telling you a story.

One that’s worth telling.

It’s about a friend.


There are a lot of titles that this picture could have.

Mae’s First Day of School.

Maelie and Her Buddy From Across the Street Showing Off Their New Backpacks.

Two Days Before Brenton Left For College.

All of the above…

When we moved here three years ago, God knew what He was doing.

We didn’t.

We didn’t know north from south (I still don’t), left from right (especially when driving), or where to even begin looking for a house in this brand new state. (And, honestly, one I’d never imagined living in.)

Almost by accident, we stumbled on a Craigslist ad for a two-story, blue house in C’ville.

I actually told my husband I wasn’t interested in seeing it.

Thankfully, he insisted we look anyway.

Long story short, we moved in six days later…into a house in a neighborhood and town where we knew not a soul…

But we hoped it would become home, and it did.

And there are so many aspects that have helped make this place home, but today, this is about some special friends.

You see, there’s a family across the street…and it didn’t take long for us to connect with them. (Potentially because we always needed help moving the furniture we were buying? πŸ˜‰ Kidding, kidding…)

No, we connected with Jonny, Kris, and their son, Brenton, within the first few weeks…and soon they weren’t just our neighbors; they had become our friends.

At the time, Brenton was fifteen and just a cool, high school sophomore. (No sarcasm here…we think he was pretty cool. :)) We’d see him here or there, and he would stop to talk to us sometimes.

He didn’t really connect with Maelie at the beginning, but that’s not a surprise. I don’t know many fifteen year old boys who make it a point to sit down on the floor and try to entertain a baby girl.

But around the time Mae turned one, Brenton started talking to her and playing with her more. One night his family came over for dinner, and she sat on his lap for a long time.

It wasn’t long before she was saying his name.

And a few months later, we had her bedroom windows open, which faced their house. She saw him come home from work and yelled as he was getting out of his car.


To her surprise?




It continued back and forth as he stood on their front porch and she pressed her nose against the screen in her window.

And that’s what continued for the next two years…little moments like that.

He’d come over and see her when she was playing outside.

Once they “shoveled” the sidewalk together.

She pushed him on the swing (really) the day he graduated from high school.

Little moments, nothing huge…but things that made an impact.

It’s no secret that Brenton became someone that Maelie really loves…and someone we love, too.

He was a high school student, busy with homework and friends and music, work and college searches. He didn’t have to take the time for a little girl…and honestly, no one would have blamed him if he didn’t.

But he did.

And he made a difference in her life…and ours, too.

This picture was taken last week, on Mae’s first day of PK3 and two days before Brenton left for college.

The two mamas behind their iPhones were both a little weepy for similar, but at the same time different, reasons…because seasons change.

Just like it was time for Mae to begin school (even if it’s just a few hours a week), it was time for Brenton to go off to college.

We said goodbye to him the next day, and the day after that, he left.

Mae is little and she doesn’t understand goodbyes yet…but I know she will miss him.

In fact, just a week ago, she looked at me. Mommy? Brenton’s my hero. And I think there’s some truth to that statement that she might not understand just yet.

Today I tear up when I look at this picture, but I know it’s one we’ll keep forever.

Thank you, Brenton, for taking the time to be part of Maelie’s life…it means more to us than you will ever know.


It’s Tuesday and time for one of my favorite link ups over at my friend, Crystal’s space.

Social media and online relationships can make us feel like everyone else has it all together. We’re edited, proof-read, Pinterest-perfect versions of ourselves (or so some might think!) when – in reality? There is an unfinished pile of laundry around the corner. That cute toddler smiling for the camera just had a massive meltdown seconds ago. That yummy breakfast-for-dinner you just showed us on Instagram? It’s because the cat licked the chicken that was supposed to be for dinner.

“Behind the Scenes” is a fun link up where we show those photos – but tell the real story behind them.Β The sneak peek behind the scenes, a look past the edges of the photo to the real life behind it.

If you’ve got some time today, hop over for the sweet and funny, the silly and sappy, and sometimes the tear-jerky stories that happen behind the camera lens. They’re told by some of my favorite writers and friends…and their words will make your day. :)



  1. Hi Mel! Visiting you from Behind the Scenes! I love relationships like the one you describe…unexpected, unplanned love festivals where its so clear God is at work. Bless these two buddies as they each embark on different journeys. God favor and keep them both. In Jesus name. Amen. This was such a beautiful story of friendship. Thanks for sharing a little of your Behind the Scenes.

    • Thank you for those incredibly sweet words, friend…thanks for taking the time to read mine, too. Happy Tuesday to you and lots of blessings! :)

  2. Dear Mel
    What a beautiful friendship between the two of them. I think the impression Brenton made on your daughter will be part of her life forever!

  3. Oh Mel, I’m crying!!! I don’t typically do that with blog posts….so, so sweet! We have a neighborhood where everyone knows everyone too; complete with grand-neighbors across the street there truly aren’t always words to explain the value of those relationships, but you did very well my friend! Have a beautiful day!

    • Thank you for your sweet words, friend…it’s a blessing to have a neighborhood like that, isn’t it? (And a pretty rare thing, too.) Hope your Tuesday is fabulous! :)

  4. Oh friend you have me crying. I love reading the story behind the prayers you’ve been asking for. Your families are certainly blessed by the friendship you’ve found across a street. Love to you and prayers to you and your friend! And now I’m running late for work!!! Love you!

    • Sorry to make you cry…I had a pretty good wad of tissues going while I was writing it, too. πŸ˜‰ Thank you for your prayers, friend…you are always such a blessing. Love to you…hope your Tuesday was awesome! :)

  5. This is a great story, Mel! Because I have such an age span between my oldest son and my little twins, they have some relationships similar to your daughters with their brother’s friends. It’s a beautiful thing to watch!
    He seems like such a sweet boy! I love the picture!!!

    • That’s so sweet…I’m sure it’s so fun for you to watch his friends interact with your little ones. :) Blessings to you, friend…have a great week! :)

  6. Ah, bless. He seems to be a really special guy. Sounds like his parents really took an interest in raising a good man. There’s not a lot of that around these days.

  7. Mel –
    What a precious story & more so, connection between Mae & Brenton! So glad I visited from Behind The Scenes!
    Have a great Tues.!

  8. I have tears in my eyes! What a sweet friendship! I love how God works out all the little details, even when (especially) when we are unsure or feeling lost. I’m glad God blessed Maelie (and you) with a sweet friendship in Brenton and his family. :) BTW – Sometimes I have to think about which hand my wedding ring is on to remember left from right… *head head in shame*

    • Thank you for those sweet words, Kelsey! And as far as the left/right thing goes, I STILL have to think about it sometimes when I’m driving. I’ll have moments when I jump, thinking that I’m on the wrong side…I never am, but still. It’s crazy…that’s what happens when you spend years in a place where the driving is…um…different. πŸ˜‰ Happy Tuesday, friend! :)

  9. How sweet! It’s so special when older children play with the young ones. I was at a friend’s house the other day and her 12-year-old son was carefully jumping on the trampoline so Jonah didn’t fly off. They were laughing at each other and looked so happy. What nice memories to have!

    • I love those moments…so smile-worthy. :) Hope you’re doing well, friend…we’ll have to catch up at #fmfparty. Blessings and happy Tuesday! (((hugs)))

  10. So sweet! I pray that you and Maelie and Brenton and his mama continue to adjust and embrace this new season. You are so blessed and you remind me that I am blessed too!

    • Thank you, friend! (And thank you for the book, too…I meant to let you know that it arrived last week…I’m really looking forward to reading it!) I hope you have a great week…blessings and (((hugs))). :)

  11. Totally cried….that was beautiful sweet friend. Love your words always….

  12. Such a special kid. It takes nothing to make times for those you love, and yet He went out of his way to accommodate someone that he barely knew and because he was willing to do so, they both made a friendship that everyone will cherish for years to come.

    • It just makes me smile to think of all that God did to make this picture happen…He knew, even when we didn’t. :) Blessings to you, Deanna…thanks for stopping by!

  13. Okay, that is just the sweetest story. It makes me think of my little guy and my big nephew who just started college yesterday. When we were in 2 weeks ago was probably the last time we will see him for awhile unless we specifically coordinate schedules. So bittersweet.

    • It is definitely bittersweet…I’ve read through this post a dozen times, and every time I smile. And cry. Blessings and hugs, friend…I hope you’ll get to see your nephew again soon! Have a great week. :)

  14. Aw! You made me tear up! What a special relationship between one so young and one so much older. Most boys of that age don’t have time for little kids, but it seems Brenton is an extraordinary young man. Best wishes to him in college and to Mae in preschool!

  15. What a sweet story. Like others I am sitting here in tears. I often struggles writing post about others but I am so glad you went ahead with this one. Not only do I love that he took time with your little one but also a reminder that there are good young adults around. We hear so many stories of college kids being rude, crude and disrespectful so when you encounter other side it is nice to point it out.

    • That’s such a great point…I love a good story, one that just makes me smile and remember that there is so much good out there. He has truly been a blessing to our family. Hope you’re doing well, friend…praying for you! (((hugs)))

  16. Beautiful! So sweet… and such a blessing to have such great neighbors and friends!

  17. That has to be just about the sweetest story ever…

  18. This is PRECIOUS! Tears are flowing–I can’t imagine yours!

    Deb Weaver

  19. Heart just melted. That’s beautiful and such a blessing!

  20. So sweet. I love hearing stories like this, it gives me more hope for our youth today. I hope May is adjusting to Pk3, mommy too:)

  21. I had a guy like that in my life at Mae’s age. I don’t remember much of it. But I think he really filled some gaps my dad wasn’t able to when I was little – and I see some of that reflected in the man I married. Such a sweet thing, their relationship :) It’s so great for both of them!

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