Saturday, October 18, 2008

Our children's friends. . . . .

As a parent we worry about so many things. Today I write about their friendships.

I worry about them having friends; having the right friends; being invited to parties; not being invited to the wrong parties when they are teenagers...and well, yes, you get the point if you're a parent.

One of the most difficult thing for me has been accepting that my son's peers when he was in kindgarten have out grown him socially. It is easy to forget the feelings of failure as a parent when he is tucked away across town at a school just for kids that have problems like him. My goal was to get him returned to our local school because the people there are like family.

How perplexed I felt just this week when I learned that he DOESN'T WANT TO RETURN to our local school.
I was dropping off his sister, when he got out of the car, walked to the front door of the school, starting spinning in circles and said, "WOW, THANK GOD I DON'T GO TO THIS CRAZY INSANE SCHOOL ANYMORE!"

wow, he has let go, so why can't I?

Last night we attended a Family Fun Event at our local school as my daughter is now in kindergarten there. I cringe inside and hurt when I see the kids that he went to kindergarten with. They are so happy to see him; and him they. I hurt inside wishing that there was something more I could do for him....but then they get to talking....and those other kids even in their love for him; are clearly much, much older socially. So I straddle the fence; wishing for him he was successful here at public school....but rejoicing in the growth that he has made and the joy he brings everyone.

austism sucks.

For us, this balance of him being in an appropriate school while visiting his old friends works for today. It reminds me of a song we sang as girl scouts; "make new friends, make new friends; but keep the old; one is silver and the other's gold".

On a completely different note; my daughter made a new friend. We have been hearing about "vivian" since the first day of school. Vivian, Hannah and Alice have been best friends and planning playdates.

Let me back up a minute to tell you that there was another girl attending school this year that we were glad did not get selected to be in Hannah's class. Joanna is a child of a family that attends a cultic christian church. We had been friends with her family off and on through the years. We were very worried that Joanna might be selected to be in our daughter's class as it would pose stress on our family for numerous reasons.

So last night, at the Family Fun Event, Hannah and Vivian found each other to play. Vivian introduces us to her family. She holds my hand and says, "come meet my moms." Her mothers were very nice and we planned to get the girls together for a play date.

On the way home, my husband, a recovering born again christian who sometimes is perplexed by the fact that he is not a conservative born again christian any more says, "did that girl have two moms as in LESBIANs?"

"I guess so," I said. After all, I didn't ask them if they were having sex.

"what do you think about that?" He said.

"well, things could be worse." I said.

"how?" He asked

"well, Joanna could have been in her class, and they could have become best friends"

We laughed for a while because sometimes we just need to put things in perspective.

Our kids will find their own way and we need to get out of the way. As long as no one is getting hurt or doing anything illegal; we've decided to let our children grow up as they're intended to. Hopefully as they embrace their life path, we as parents can grow ourselves.

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