The Friend Factory – Chapter 1

THE FRIEND FACTORY


THE FRIEND FACTORY

You’re the boss.

     Would you like to have some new friends? If so, I have some great news for you. You can make your own friends, just the way you want them. You make them in your friend factory.

     Here is some more great news. In the friend factory, you’re the boss. You get to make all of the rules. No one can tell you what to do or how to behave. You’re the friend factory boss. You’re in charge.

     The things I’m going to tell you are important secrets. Only the friend factory boss is allowed to know about them. Please keep them to yourself. Please don’t tell anyone else.

     The first secret is this. Before you can find the friend factory, you need to take a very deep breath. Did you take a really big breath? Go ahead. Take a gigantic breath and blow it out. It’s just like blowing out the candles on your birthday cake.

     Did you take a big breath and blow it out? If so, you can use your imagination to find the friend factory. Where on Earth do you think it is? Is it in the kitchen? If you walk into the kitchen, the friend factory is there with you.

     Is the friend factory outside, near the sidewalk? If you walk out the door and stand by the sidewalk, the friend factory is there with you.

     When you go to school, is the friend factory in your classroom? If you’re very quiet and look around slowly, you will spot it. The friend factory is there with you.

     Maybe the friend factory is on the playground. Imagine that you’re playing and having fun. Can you see yourself on the playground? You’re feeling mighty fine. Stop and look around. The friend factory is there with you.

     Woops, you’re not on the playground anymore. Where did you go? You’re at Grandma’s house, eating homemade chocolate chip cookies. Can you use your imagination to see yourself at Grandma’s house? Are those the best cookies you ever had? Of course they are. Those are Grandma’s famous chocolate chip cookies. They are the best cookies ever. Enjoy your cookie and chew quietly. The friend factory is there with you.

     Do you know where the friend factory is? Where on Earth is it? Let’s see if we can figure out where it is.

     The first place you went was the kitchen. After that, you walked out the door and stood by the sidewalk. Later, you were in your classroom. The next place you went was to the playground. You were even at Grandma’s house, eating a chocolate chip cookie. Wherever you went, the friend factory was there with you.

     How can that be true? Where on Earth is the friend factory hiding? Maybe you have already figured it out by yourself.

     The friend factory is you. What do you think about that? Did you know that you’re a friend factory? Just remember that you’re the boss. The friend factory is there with you.

     Making friends is very complicated. Being the boss of the friend factory is a big job. It’s easier to let someone else be the boss. They can pick your friends for you. They can decide what you like to do. How do you like that idea?

     What did you say? Did you say that you don’t like that idea? Let me see if I have this right.

     You’re the boss. The friend factory belongs to you. It’s your friend factory. You’re in charge.

     "I make my own friends. I decide what I like to do. I don’t just do whatever other people want me to do. I’m the friend factory boss."

     Is that what you said? Did I get it right?

     Good for you. That is outstanding, spectacular, and totally terrific. You’re definitely the right person to be the friend factory boss. You’re also the right person to keep another secret. Lean down close to the book so I can whisper. I don’t want anyone else to hear this.

     You hang around with your friends. You don’t talk much with other people. You want to have more friends but you don’t work on it. You’re still the boss but your friend factory is closed. It’s not making friends anymore.

     Are you frowning at me? Are you trying to tell me something?

     "My friend factory isn’t closed. I like my friends but want to make new friends. I’m the boss. I decide if I want to make new friends or not."

     Okay, I hear you. You’re the boss. You decide if you want to make new friends or not. Thank you for sharing that with me. I like it when you speak up, say what you think, and let me know how you feel about things.

     I’m happy that you’re the friend factory boss. You’re in charge. You want to make new friends. I can tell that you have what it takes. You say what you think. You tell people how you feel about things. You decide about important stuff. You’re the kind of person I would enjoy having as a friend. That’s why I wrote this book for you. You can keep a secret. You have what it takes to be the friend factory boss.

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