Today we were on the cusp of befriending a pack of kids from up the
street (a term I use loosely. I really want to call it a path or a lane). They are staying with their grandparents for the summer just like we are. They were two beaches up today in the water swinging these long nets and trying to pry part of the decrepit dock next door
out of the water. We tried sending my son in their general direction but he
pinged back towards us without making contact. My Mom walked with him down the beach and chatted with a grownup attached to the kids while her dog and my son
ignored them all. Then my Mom sent my sister down their way with the hope that
my son would tag along with her. She settled in to chat with an adult overseer
but he only went halfway. Finally I went and we walked to the beach where the
kids and adults were getting ready to go out on a large boat which had been
brought relatively close to the shore. He sat on the bulkhead with my sister
and the grandfather of the lot observing. Then he sent me away. I walked back a
while later since almost all of the beachgoers had boarded their vessel. He
told me that he talked to one of the kids.
Later in the afternoon on the road for our daily learn-how-to-ride-a-bike-with-no-training-wheelslesson two of the boys were also out riding. It was a giant tricycle with a
basket in the back large enough to fit the smaller boy inside of it. We were
zig-zagging all over the road so we pulled over to let them pass. Everyone just
stared at each other as I invited them to scoot by us. So it goes with trying
to get my son to interact with other kids. It happens. It just takes more time
One of the lovely young ladies who he has spent the past few summers
playing with has already come over to the house. It is fascinating to watch the
social experiment of my son feeling the way to his comfort zone to engage her
in play. They are like the opposite poles of a magnet. He goes out the back
door and she comes in the front. He comes back in while she brings a ball out
to the yard for them to play with. It is awkward. Although I want to encourage,
I do not intrude. Eventually they are able to bond over something and the ice
is broken. They are running together and separately; around the house and
through the yard. It will be interesting to see if this initial courting period
will gradually ease over the summer or will remain a constant.
I am hopeful that soon he will be riding the bike like a pro. I am
relatively certain that he will eventually be riding with the kids up the road.
And I know that this summer, his summer, will be the summer of my youth. The
summer of outside, fireflies and playing with the neighborhood kids till dark.
And I love that.