I'm going to take a break from the photos for a minute.
Yesterday, when I pulled into the driveway after picking up JJ, some of the neighborhood kids across the street were outside playing. They are older kids, probably 11 or 12, but they were running around and playing basketball and JJ wanted so desperately to play with them. You should have seen his face when he got out of the car and saw the other kids. He was so excited. "Play! Play!" he said, his face lit up with joy at the prospect of playing basketball. My heart melted.
Of course, 12-year-olds have no desire to play with a 2-year-old. He didn't know that and ran across the street ready to join in the festivities. (side note: we live on a quiet street and I held his hand. I didn't let my kid just dart off into the street unsupervised.) One of the kids was getting picked up by his grandparents, so he left. The little girl (she was probably closer to 8) went inside the house and the older boy continued to play basketball. JJ was clearly in the way, but was so overjoyed to be watching this kid play, it probably never even occurred to him that he wasn't actually playing himself.
The boy kept playing, careful not to let the ball hit JJ (he missed a lot of shots), but other than that, pretty much ignoring him.
I had to take JJ back and he cried. "Play.... Play..." he said through the tears, much less joyous this time around. He tends to get over things pretty quickly and by the time we were back at our house, he was fine.
But I was not.
I know kids that age don't want to play with toddlers, and I didn't expect them to, but still. It was my first experience watching my son want to play with someone who didn't want to play with him and it stung. Visions of a future where this happens to him at an age where he gets that it's happening to him came flooding into my mind. I was heartbroken.
I know it's crazy. He's very social and is so much fun to be around, but he's also pretty shy at times. I know he'll have friends and I'm hoping for reasons bigger than this blog post his K-12 years are more like his father's than mine. But I'm not totally off here. This will happen. Kids can be awful and at some point he's going to be told "You can't play with us." And he's going to know exactly what that means.
And that breaks my heart. Even more so, that there is nothing I can do about it.
4 years ago