We spent a beautiful Portland afternoon playing out front. I love sitting there and observing my kids, and trying to figure out their personalities. They are both SO interested in what the other kids are doing, but both SO shy. They watch and kind of ‘hover’ – they play in the same area as everyone else, but still gravitate back to Kenny (or I) when they feel unsure. We’re like human safety blankets.
In our old neighborhood, our kids were the youngest on the block by a few years. The older kids on our block were really great with them, but most outside play with kids their own age was scheduled with kids they already knew / were comfortable with – i.e. we invited them over. It’s a different dynamic when you’re trying to break into a group of new kids who have been playing together – by nature of location – for a few years.
It’s interesting to watch. Particularly Gavin. You can see his mind racing. I want to run around the corner with those kids. I don’t know where they are going. I don’t know if I want to leave my dad. I don’t know if I am allowed. I don’t know if they want me to go with them.
Kenny’s so good with it. He encourages him to go for it. Always. This time, he told him to hurry up and catch them. And Gavin did. He caught up to the youngest kid in the pack, and didn’t look back. Yay. (and sniff. Just a little.) The older kids rounded the corner at the other end of the street first. Then Gavin and one of the younger kids followed… a few minutes later. You could hear the two of them giggling away. They stopped, looked at the older kids, and then darted back around the corner the other way. Definitely yay.
A little while later, Gavin was playing and his new friend went to go inside his house. Gavin, still uncertain about his tender new friendship, turned and went to come back home. Inside the house, I heard a little voice call out: “Come on, Gavin.” He grinned. Then he turned around and ran through his friend’s garage into his house.
Come on, Gavin.
Such simple words.
Such huge meaning.
For us all.
I see a little bit of a root taking hold.