My kid is doing just fine, thanks for the reminder!

October 28, 2013

in Boys will be Boys, Friendship, Parenting


I always worry about my youngest. To me, he’s always been a little behind the 8 ball when it comes to being social. I attribute most of it to being severely speech delayed. Once he finally caught up, the groups and clicks and hierarchy of Elementary School had already formed, so he stayed on the outskirts.
When he went to Intermediate School, he had all the correct social cues but not a lot of the confidence. He stayed back, engaging people, but still not finding his inner circle. He had fun, made friends, attended events but he never found that one group of friends, or more importantly, that one person to be “his person.”
You know, that one person who you can confide in and comfortably hang out with and just be yourself with. That one person who has your back and will defend you till the end should anyone talk smack about you and will help you hide the body (should it ever come to that.)
Everyone needs someone who will help them hide the body without asking any questions.
For High School he caught a little break with his Skull Island class. These kids are shoved together in a classroom for almost the entire day and forced to work together. Their curriculum is very student driven so it’s kinda like Lord if the Flies without the cannabalism. If one sinks, they all sink, so they have already learned that no man is left behind. Ever. And he has come into his own with Civil Air Patrol (who I have constantly raved for helping to mold him into a fine young man of character and integrity.) And swimming with the top group on his club team and working out daily with the schools Varsity team has helped build his confidence and determination and provided a much needed structure and avenue of healthy competition.
But I still worry that he doesn’t have that group to hang out with. He went to Homecoming and just walked into the game by himself, not a care in the world that he wasn’t sure exactly who he was going to sit with. He was 100% confident that he would find someone to hang out and he did. He had the time of his High School life at the game. He did the same thing for Homecoming. We dropped him off and by the time he got in line he had found a group to walk into school with and again, he had a ball!
So on Sunday I’m hanging out with a friend and she was asking about Andrew and how he’s doing in a High School and I break into all the stories that I just listed and expressed my concerns about how he still doesn’t have that group or gang and she said something so profound, it was like a light bulb went off in my head. She said, “I think you are looking at this all wrong. Neither of my kids would ever had the courage to walk into a dance or football game without their friends. What you see as a lack of confidence in Andrew I see as he has more confidence than any kid I know.”
She’s right. I have always looked at the fact that Andrew not having that friend or small group of friends to lean on as a negative, when in reality it’s been a positive. He doesn’t have one person to help him bury the body, he has many people who would help him do it.

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