Right now, I’m curled up in bed next to Wyatt, my little space heater. It’s cold here in Canada! I can hear Rodney singing at the campfire right outside, our new friends talking and laughing. It’s great. I can’t help but wonder what Wyatt will be doing once he reaches his thirties. We have been wondering this a lot lately. Will he take on a life of adventurous travel? Will he become a comedian? Will he be singing around a campfire with new friends? I guess you’ll never know, until it’s happening. We only see the things happening now that are shaping him. We hit a milestone this past week. Maybe, not quite a milestone but I’m unsure what to call it. But it’s one of those things all parents have been through. And it was rough.
Wyatt was playing at one of the playgrounds in an RV park, other kids came and went. He always eagerly runs up to other kids, “hi! Want to be my friend? Want to play with me?” He has zero shy when it comes to other kids. Which is great, I think. He’s also very inclusive and thoughtful for his age when playing with new friends. Now, he can turn into a turkey quick when playing with friends he knows well.. so go figure. But that’s not this story. So he was playing with one older boy, who was probably 9 or 10 and being super sweet. Then a little girl closer to Wyatts age showed up so then the older boy left. A while later, once the girl left the boy from earlier came back with a friend. This time they were playing frisbee. Wyatt wanted to join in. He asked them. I told him no, since they were big boys and throwing the frisbee hard. Of course this made Wyatt sad. We went to walk back to the trailer and he just kept asking to go back by himself and play with the big boys. So Rodney agreed to let him go back for a few minutes and while I started dinner, Rodney walked to the end of the row of RVs to watch Wyatt go back to the playground. A few minutes later Rodney brought him back, in his arms, crying. Apparently Wyatt had run over to the boys and asked to play and they ignored him. He asked again, and again was ignored. He sang them a song and they laughed at him and left. Wyatt turned around, and walked back toward the RVs, arms rigid, frown on his face. When he hit the edge of the playground he broke into a run straight for Rodney and just bawled his little eyes out. Since they left we couldn’t go grab them by the ear and tell them to take us to their parents and expect much out of that. Besides they were way older and while we tried explaining that to Wyatt he just didn’t get it. He just kept saying he was a big boy too and he’d be careful. So I consoled him with hugs and a cookie and told him I was so sorry the big kids had laughed at him. Then we asked to hear his song. What song did you sing them, we asked. And he sang, “you have to share, we can be friends, it can be fun..” it went on about sharing and friends. It was so sweet and so sad. He was so cute singing this little song he made up!
As it turns out, he’s fine. Later that evening he seemed unfazed. This weekend he’s made new friends up here in the Kleskun Hills in Alberta. But I can’t stop thinking about how incredibly sad his face was that these boys laughed AT him. And I feel sorry for or bad for the boy who was being sweet to Wyatt before one of his peers arrived on scene.
It’s rough seeing your child learn hard lessons. Not everyone wants to be your friend, but those people don’t deserve you as a friend anyway. It will probably be a while before he really understands that.