Our youngest doesn’t see being 3 as a handicap, but truth be told, at his young age he has already experienced age discrimination.
I know. The Law Offices of Sam Bernstein are about to be put on speed dial, trust me.
I can’t blame the big kids–they’re faster [barely], they’re stronger [on most days], and they have a much larger vocabulary [no denying that one.] M does what he can to keep up with them. He braves the bike ramps. He jumps the sidewalks on his two-wheeler. He yells and screams with the best of them. And arguably, he can ride our electric dirt bike as well as any kid who’s ever mounted the steel horse plastic pony.
Still, when you’re 7 or 8 or 9, chillin’ with the preschoolers isn’t on your list of “must-do” after school. The kids that are slightly closer to him in age are girls, and while better than nothing, generally aren’t the thrill seekers that he innately is. I mean, giving your American Girl a new hair-do might be cutting edge, true, but…can she ride a quad no-handed is really the question.
Even though my M can ride a quad “going no handlebars”, as he says, he often finds himself wandering alone. Just this afternoon I caught him sitting by himself pounding some boards together for pretend–designing a half-pipe for Tony Hawk no doubt. He’s a nomad on paved sidewalks. A restless wanderer, longing for a friend.
Anywho, last week he started preschool, and I probably don’t have to tell you–he loves it. It’s just a couple of hours a week, but it has given him the opportunity to hang out with other super-cool 3 year-olds who also enjoy the art of jumping, singing, drawing, and playing with trucks. Even though I nearly lost my mascara to TurboTears round 4 at the thought of my baby going to school, it has warmed the cockles of my heart [as my hubby would say] to see him in the company of so many tender souls.
Which makes today so great.
On the way home from his school I looked in the rear view mirror and asked him, “M, what was the best part of your day today?”
You wanna know what he said?
He said, “Having friends.”
Awwww! [sniff sniff]
A moment of silence, please. Show a little respect for the poor kid.
This conjures up two points I wish to make:
1. That he does, obviously, feel terribly left out when the big kids take off [again, I can't blame them, but he does feel it].
2. It also reminds me to verbalize my thankfulness for my own friends. There are many times when I sit at home and think “What would I do without her in my life? What would I do without her to call, to talk me through it, to make me put down the chocolate. For ten seconds.” When I think of all the people I call friend, I feel so. grateful.
So to all my dear, dear friends out there who have walked beside me long after doll days and bike rides ['cause some of you have been around that long!], thank you for being there, for loving me, for filling my life with blessings overflowing.
Today I join my little boy in being thankful for YOU.