Friends and the Future

E love love loves her little friend A, she talks about her all the time.  I am excited and scared as she enters this stage of wanting to make and making friends.  I’m sure all moms think this but she is a sweet, sensitive little soul and I want her to be strong and have good self esteem but I know she is a fragile little blossom right now.

At the park on Tuesday we were playing on a rocking ship type apparatus and a girl and boy got on.  I’ve been encouraging her to not be scared of kids that are near her on the playground so I greeted them and she said “hi” as well.  Very cool.  They were eating snacks (doritos and cheetos so my allergy mom alarm bells were going off but nothing happened, it just makes me worry a little bit but anyway. . .) and just kind of staring.  They didn’t respond to her greeting but did tell me their names.  We rocked a little while and then they ran off.  E exclaimed “little boy!  little girl!  come back!” but she didn’t seem too distressed.  They returned two more times in passing, the second time she offered them a seat next to her by scooting over.  I was really proud.  Then the wind started to pick up so I told E we should go on the slides and then go home for lunch.  As we got off she said good-bye to the kids and then said “my bend (friend)!”

My heart twinged a little bit.  Those kids were much older than her and in their own world and here she was looking at me with this earnest face.  All I could think of in that moment were the times in grade school when I would cry and cry when people I thought were my friends would tell me otherwise.  I wasn’t thinking about it in the “poor me” context but I had this premonition of the little and big heartaches in the future that I can’t (and probably shouldn’t in most cases) protect my children from.

I know this is just one of the layers of the complicated nature of parenting but it is hard.  I know so keenly about the experience of being a little girl so I wonder if I worry more for E than R but I worry about R in similar way.

We have started to look at pre-schools and the idea of dropping E off somewhere and not being close by scares me greatly.  Both from the physical implications of an allergy incident and the emotional implications of wanting the happiest and the best for her.  I loved school until the social dramas became too soul crushing in middle school so there’s lots to think about.

To end on a happy note, the phrase “think about” reminds me that it is similar to a common phrase for E now.  She holds her pointer finger to her chin and looks up and says “I’m dinning bout it.”  If R touches his face like that she’ll indicate that he’s thinking about something.  If I say I’m thinking about something she tells me I must be thinking about showing her a movie because sometimes that is my response to a movie request (she gets to watch a movie maybe once a week, Mulan and “Dinderedda (Cinderella)” are current favorites).  She’s a sharp one!

5 thoughts on “Friends and the Future

  1. It is hard to think of them having heart-ache! I want to take all the pain away all the time. But we know we can’t do that. Mason had his first field trip today and I had a whole head (and stomach) full of worries and anxieties rushing around today. I don’t know if I will ever let him go by himself…

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    1. I know! When I read about you asking Mason about his day, I think about how someday my kids might not tell me things that upset them and I don’t know which is worse: knowing or not. I musn’t be a “helicopter parent” but evrn if I manage that I am still going to be a bundle of nerves. As long as they know we’re there if they need us I guess that has to be enough….

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  2. Your story of E at the park made my heart break a bit too. I can just imagine her earnest little face, so happy to make new friends and play with other children. I think the best you can do is foster a positive self image and self confidence so if (I should say when but I prefer if) she does get hurt, she can rally and move on.

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