Sunday, June 22, 2008

Finding Friends

Dear Kaelen,

I used to write you so many letters but sadly, over the past couple of years, I have been remiss in doing so. Instead of writing them down, I have been telling you verbally, which for the moment is fun but I know that we will both forget the moment in time as we experience oh so much more together.

Today my precious little boy, you broke my heart yet made me laugh all the same. You were outside playing with two of your new friends. They are both a little older than you, but you don't care as long as they are willing to do things with you. There are times that you get hurt feelings because they don't want to do something with you, but I always gently try to remind you that it is okay. That friends don't necessarily have to play with each other all of the time. I also gently remind you that your friends are a little older than you and that sometimes they just want to play older kids games. This answer leaves you a bit perplexed but you accept it none the less.

Today you were outside playing good guys/bad guys with your friends. The three of you were running around the back yard pretending that the bubbles from the bubble blower could make you invisible so you could catch the bad guys and put them in jail. I had to leave the three of you for a moment to take care of your sister as she had pooped herself silly. Upon our return, I came outside to see you at the door crying, dirty and all by yourself. When I had asked why you were crying, you had exclaimed that the boys had broken Masyn's bubble blower, which was caked in mud and dirt. You meanwhile, were also caked in mud and dirt. When I asked how you had gotten so dirty, you told me that your friends (who had run home at this point) told you to throw dirt at yourself and roll in the mud. Of course you obliged because that is the way you are. You are a beautiful, sensitive boy who would do pretty much anything for anyone, especially if it meant having a laughing adventure.

After you told me all about your adventure (which I will remind you that you didn't want to get dirty but the boys made you), I gently explained to you that you didn't have to do everything people say and that it is okay if you don't want to do things that others do. This is the point that you got dramatically upset and, with HUGE crocodile tears and choking sobs, told me "They won't be my friends if I don't do what they want me to do". You were completely broken hearted my little boy as if you had lost everything in the world. You then went on, "Who will be my friend now? I won't have any friends" and went on to cry, very dramatically I might add, for at least another minute or so.

So there you were, dirty beyond belief with two white streaks down your face as your tears cleansed your filthy little cheeks. I will have to admit that I had to turn my face because I so wanted to laugh at your drama and the picture that it made, but more so, I wanted to cry. Cry for your broken heart at the thought of losing friends. You are so desperate for friends and everyone that you meet, becomes your best friend. I love that the most about you. You are so accepting of everyone and sensitive to every one's needs. I pulled you into my arms and told you so and that you are perfect. I told you that you don't need to become a puppet to have a friend and that you will have many friends in your lifetime. I told you that friends will come and go in your life and that you have to love them for the moment(s) that they are in your life. And most importantly, I told you to remember to treat your friends as you would like to be treated. My only hope is that you will remember those words as you grow and that they will help you grow into a confident yet sensitive young man.

After dinner tonight, your two friends came knocking at the door again and as always, you forgot the heart ache and enthusiastically ran outside to go on another adventure with them. Only this time, Mommy gently reminded your friends to treat you respectfully as you look up to them. And of course, I reminded your friends that they would be upset if they had been treated that way, so remember that it could always happen to them.

Love Mommy


Goofball said...

ooooh that story brought tears in my eyes. How sweet, how innocent, how tough as well.

Jenn said...

What a great letter. I too am finding it hard to let my kids get hurt by other kids. You just want to protect them, but also want them to learn to interact with the world...


Adventures In Babywearing said...

Aw- you are such a good Mommy watching out for him but also letting him experience life on his own, in a safe way, with friends. It's not easy- for him or Mommy, I know!