Friday, May 29, 2009

Holding Them Close and Letting Go

My heart hurts tonight. Last night was Dylan's school picnic. I watched children run off in pairs left and right. I watched my child watch from the outside. There was one little girl who repeatedly said hello to him, but that was it. Tonight he told me no one ever picked him, all year, to be their helper for passing out bday treats. That he doesn't have any best friends at school. This is the only time he has ever lamented about his friends, or lack there of, at school. The first time one of my fears for him, related to kindergarten, was realized. Dylan has a heart of gold and is a truly wonderful, sweet child. I think it might be holding him back a bit.

I want my child to have friends. I want him to make connections in childhood that will last a lifetime. I want him to have what I didn't have and always longed to have. I want him to have the security that comes with having some friends you can count on. Friends who you know have your back.

I have spent the majority of my life with a feeling of not belonging. Always feeling like I am on the outside. Close enough to know what I'm missing, but far enough away that it is out of reach. I know the pain of being excluded, still experience it all the time. And, although that pain taught me a lot, I think I would have turned out just fine with fewer lessons. It's a big reason I am the way I am today. If we have are having friends over and other friends ask what we are doing, they will automatically be invited to join in the fun. I don't ever want anyone to feel excluded or unwanted. I certainly don't want my child to feel that. Ever. I know he will. I know Sasha will, too.

When I was pregnant, one of the few things I loved about the experience is that no matter where I was, my baby was with me. I was protecting my child at all times. No one could get to my baby without going through me. The older they get, the less of a barrier I present. The less I can protect. The more I want to keep them close and never let go. But I have to let go. And that's the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life.

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