The Bane Bane Game: Friending It Forward

Livi and Baney: bathtime smooches

“Mama,” said Livi, placing one tiny finger to her dimpled cheek.  Splats of green jello smeared high chair tray before her, but she leaned in earnest, like one who knows a secret.

“Bane Bane is my best friend.”

these words … unprovoked and out of the blue … on the very day that Baney got sick.

Words to melt any mama’s heart … any mama who has placed a pudgy toddler hand to her belly to feel new sibling kick and wondered “how will i share it — this mama’s heart that has been captured so completely by firstborn?  How will there be room for two in my every waking thought, in my heart’s every beat?

then he came.  and she knew.  miracle of miracles, love poured in exponents, and like disciples’ baskets of fish and loaves, there was plenty to spill over.  mama and daddy called him, this creamy skinned second-born, by the nickname butter brown.

and Livi called him friend. the best one, in fact.

“Friend” is a word that gets kicked around too easily, perhaps, as our lives spread us wide and thin.  Too busy to porch-linger and sit a spell.  Too tired to phone-chat and catch up.  Perhaps you’ve even “friended” someone on Facebook who you don’t really particularly like very much.  Just the way it goes.

What if, though, we said friendship and meant it with the heart and sincerity of a two-year-old big sister?  What if friendship looked more like the passionate, drooly kisses of a baby brother than the once-a-year Christmas card?

A man who has friends
must himself be friendly,
But there is a friend who sticks
closer than a brother.
(Proverbs 18:24, NKJV)

Livi was a friend — a real heart-love friend— to her brother – and the knowledge of that will one day bless her memory of him, the way it blesses her parents now.

Will you be inspired to  “pay it forward” today — not only to strangers — but to those whom you call “friend?”  Will you find a way to show love (even if drooly kisses seem a tad much) to those whose heart strings you are tied to?

sometimes paying it forward is a small, simple good thing.
like being a friend.

Make time to show friend-love this week.
Then come back here and spill some of that feel-good into the comments.  Your thoughts — and your kind deeds — bless others, and they bless those who read here as well.


  1. Anonymous

    I am in awe each time I read a post…there isn't a day that goes by that I don't think of sweet Bane and his family. I wonder how they get up each day and function—-and I know it's because of their faith in God that they can go on….He carries us all when we need it. Prayer is the best thing you can do for a friend! They will never know how many lives have been impacted and changed for the better because of their family. Thank you for being the "Christ-like" example that we all strive for……..

  2. Anonymous

    Oh, how it hurts to see those butter brown cheeks. Sonya and Drason, we are praying for you daily. Really, daily.

  3. jennynobleanderson

    I woke up and heard hard pounding rain. Immediately, I felt it was an excuse to skip my 5K training and covered my head with my pillow. My friend (training with me) was equally uninspired. When I finally got out of bed (rain still pounding) I checked my usual blogs. How could I NOT friend it forward after looking at those two beauties at bath time. So out into the pouring storm we charged. While I can't make it to the actual Banebow 5K, I've decided to sign up for one here in DC. And just when my dedicated training with my BFF was about to fall off track in a heavy storm…Bane became our sun. He's just luminous like that:).

  4. Anonymous

    I visit this blog often, and everytime I see a new post I find myself smile. Not because the words make me happy but because I feel like the words and the story this family tells feeds my soul. I pray and I pray…sometimes with just thoughts running through my mind and other times I find myself crying and pleading with God to give this mother, father, and sister comfort. While I know the family from high school-I never had the pleasure of meeting baby Bane. However through the magical stories told here I feel like I have. I know the lord will never allow anything to be put on us that we cant handle. When I look at Sonya and Drason I feel like God knew that they were strong and they could deliver his message in the most devastating state. I praise God for them and will always now and forever consider them a friend.

  5. Matt and Shelley

    Miss you, Baney. I think about you everyday.

    I daydream about Bane often: when I watch Kate dance around the room, I see Bane; when I see a little boy with almond-colored skin, I see Bane; I replay in my mind the devastating night and the days that followed, I see Bane. I saw Bane again today. Facilitated when I received a sweet card in the mail from one of my besties, reminding me of our precious and long-lasting friendship, I saw his BIG brown eyes and big cheeks.

    Yes, I am a recipient of the Bane Bane Game. Thank you, dear friend…you know who you are :).

  6. Anonymous

    These stories are amazing. Thank you so much for sharing and inspiring all of who follow.