Friendships end for lots of reasons—families move, interests change, kids have a falling out over one thing or another. But when “Maxing Out in Mansfield” wonders whether spending a lot of time with a very close friend can lead to bickering, which can end a friendship, Arizona jumps in with her own story about a vacation with a BFF that almost destroyed the relationship.
The story goes like this: Arizona is elated when her best friend, Mareya, invites her to go along on a family vacation. Over the moon with excitement, Arizona ignores her mom’s warning about friends spending too much time together and off she goes for five full days of snowshoeing, hiking, and hanging out with Mareya.
And it was great…until it wasn’t.
Rained out, the girls are stuck indoors for three days, both irritated, and squabbling, unable to find something they both wanted to do, and pretty tired of each other. Their nonstop bickering pushes their friendship to its limits. Just in time, Mareya’s dad shows up, sees the standoff, and tells the girls a “too much of a good thing” story, which Arizona relays to the reader.
Then Arizona adds her takeaway from the incident:
“So, dear Maxing Out,” she says, “I know every situation is different, but spending every minute with anyone can get to be a lot. If you do separate things now and then, you may find that you and your friend appreciate the time you have together even more.”
Want to read the full story? Turn to page 40 in the March 2018 issue or go straight to the questions below to help your kids get more out of the story.
- Have you ever had a friend you enjoyed so much that you both wanted to spend all your free time together?
- Who’s that friend—and what do you have in common? What do you both like to do for fun?
- Imagine you were in Arizona’s situation, stuck indoors in a cabin for several days, with only your friend and her parents to talk to. How would you want to pass the time?
- Think about the cabin and things you could do there. If you were stuck indoors, would you want to read, like Arizona, sing, like Mareya, or do something else?
Reading Comprehension Boosters:
- What do you think Arizona meant when she said she and Mareya are “just like peanut butter and jelly”?
- What did Arizona, Mareya, and Mareya’s family have planned for their almost weeklong vacation? Why did their plans change?
- What did Arizona and Mareya disagree about? What did each of them want to do?
- Why was leaving each other alone not a good solution?
- What do you think “too much of a good thing” means? How does Mareya’s dad explain it?