This weekend, it became real to me that my baby boy is growing up into a little boy (he would say he’s a big boy 😉). It started Saturday, when we went to the park and he was climbing really high on the play structure, as he normally does. There was a group of older boys around 8 to 10 years old climbing as well. One of the boys said “that baby is going to kill himself,” referring to my son. My son just ignored him, although I knew he didn’t like being called a baby, since he’s told me on another occasion he was upset with his friend for calling him a baby. After, about the third time another kid repeated that same line, I interjected from my post a few feet away that, no he was not going to kill himself.
My son watched and played around the boys, they were playing tag and my son wanted to play too. At one point my son asked me if he could play with them. It broke my heart to tell him no, but after they called him a baby I didn’t think the boys would want to play with my son, so since he asked I told him no. In retrospect, maybe I should have asked my son to ask them if he could play. But I don’t know if that would have been a good suggestion either. I’m new at this momma thing. Anyhow, this interaction had me thinking that my son is going to have learn how to make friends, and sort through the rift raft of friendship very soon.
The following day, we ended up at a different park. This time there was an older boy who was 8 years old (my son told me the boy’s age) that came up to my son and asked him to play. This I thought was cool, given the day before the kids just played around him not inviting him to play that were the same age as this boy. So my son began to play tag with the boy. They ran around playing for at least an hour. I watched and walked around, trying to not be a helicopter momma. The boy my son was playing with was a really nice boy, he was at the park with his family for picnic. It made me think that I wished there were more kids in the world like this little boy. My son is only 4 3/4 and man I worry about so many things for him, but seeing my son interact with this kid gave me hope that I shouldn’t worry so much.
Now that my son is moving out of the preschool stage and into the little boy stage (starting elementary school), it’s a little bittersweet. He is now at the stage where he doesn’t play independently anymore and is actually seeking out friends to play with. While I’m happy he is progressing and venturing into learning how to develop friendships, I also hope that his quest to find friends is a great experience. He’s definitely the little boy I prayed for and wanted him to be. I just hope that as he continues to grow, he is able to find healthy ways cope with the struggles of dealing with different and sometimes difficult people.
I still struggle with trying to maintain friendships and stay true to myself, because I’m fiercely independent and really enjoy doing things alone or just with my kid. I want my son to have friendships because I think it’s healthy, but I also want him to learn to be happy by himself. It’s a tough line in life, because you need to have a lot self-confidence and determination to be successful. A lot of it requires for you to be willing to stand alone without any friends and be okay with it. I don’t want my son to be so independent that he alienates people, on the other hand I want him to be confident enough within himself that he doesn’t need validation from other people.
Thus, my son is officially moving into the next stage in life, being a little boy and I hope he continues to surprise me and teach me as I teach him. I have learned more than I could ever imagined in the last four years. He has truly revived my spirit and opened my heart.
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