Thursday, May 04, 2006

Extra, extra

I love Jo(e)'s stories about her family, including her Extras. More than once, I admit, I think I've offered up a little prayer that my kids will feel that comfortable with me and within their family. I would love our home to be the place where they hang out. And okay, I admit it--not least so that I can keep a watchful eye on them. Not suspicious or controlling, mind you--just...watchful.

I worry a lot about the Boy, you know that. Stupid things that I shouldn't even think about. But maybe everyone thinks about the same things. I was an awkward kid and I worry that he will have the same difficulties making friends, that he'll feel lonely like I did. The closer he gets to the ages during which I felt most miserable, the more this creeping anxiety grows. Should I reconsider the Lexapro, or is this just my cross to bear? Do I just need to meditate, get a grip? I worry that other kids won't like him. I worry that he'll become some sulky loner, or worse yet, find the kinds of friends that will lead him to trouble. For heavens sake, the poor kid's only 6. I think the grip seems the most likely option, don't you?

Anyway, there's this one little boy in his class. I really like this kid, and he's been really kind to my Boy, in a way that you can tell he really likes him. I think the teacher is trying to make sure they get in the same class next year. But this little boy--there's something about him, too, that gets to me, and I don't know what it is. I don't know that much about his family, other than that he has a few siblings and one is old enough to watch the other two after school. They live with their father, and their mother lives out of state; they spend the summers with her. Not an unusual arrangement, but it hurts me. I can't bear the thought of my boy being so far away from me, for so long at a stretch. Oh, look, someone's projecting again. There's a shock.

So the friend lives in our new neighborhood, just around the block. I'd called and left a message asking if he could come over one day after school (the Boy had asked); no response. Finally, we just stopped by last Thursday and asked if he could come over for the sleepover Friday night, which he was able to do. Then yesterday after school, there was a knock on the door and it was the friend. He showed up again today. I'm happy to have him here--though wow, do I need to finish up the playroom in the basement. Two boys are twice as much crazy as one!

Anyway, I just realized that I think my Year of Solitude has totally warped me. Or something has. I don't know what's typical of elementary-aged socialization. When I was this age, the world was totally different. We used to run back and forth all over the place, as long as our folks knew where we were, and we didn't cross the railroad tracks or go near the pond at the park (alligators!), it was fine. When I was older and we lived out here, the closest kid lived a mile away. There was a loop, probably 2 or 3 miles if you followed the road, and we pretty much could go anywhere on the loop, to see if there was anyone around who could play, as long as our folks knew where we were and we didn't climb too far down the flat top (rattlesnakes!). And here I am, with this stupid worrisome ache in my heart because this little boy showed up at our house from a block down the street, and I worry. I'm so glad he's coming over to play, but I worry--is he ok at his house? Is he lonely? Will he and the Boy stay friends despite his being away for the summer? Maybe I should just show up somewhere, and quit worrying, and be happy, you know?

Grip. Definitely grip.