Earlier this week he didn't want me to leave him at school; more specifically, he didn't want me to leave him alone. Those were his exact words, "I don't want you to leave me alone." Talk about heart break. I was just looking at him, struggling to find the right words, not sure how to handle the situation when one of his classmates bounced up behind him. I told him to look behind him. They were so excited to see each other and just like that he wasn't alone and it was okay for me to leave because he ran off with her through the front gate.
This afternoon, when I was picking him up from school, I asked him who he played with at recess. It's a question he gets asked every day, and more days than I'd like to count he tells me, "no one." The thing is, he has friends. This boy can make anyone smile. He is silly and will do almost anything to get a laugh. But, he also has a one track mind sometimes. Today he said he didn't play with anyone but he explained he was looking for one of his friends (a third grader - my first grader has three third grade friends that I know of) and couldn't find her. I can certainly picture him in my minds eye wandering around the playground looking for one person in particular, ignoring everyone around him or turning them down when they ask to play. Then, when he's asked about it, he's sad because no one played with him. Husband and I have talked about this. If you've seen Meet the Robinsons, there's a flashback scene with the villain where he says everyone hated him (elementary school) and they show him walking down the hallway and everyone being kind to him and asking if he wanted to play, etc. This is what we imagine H looks like on days when he gives us this answer. But what do I do? How do I help him? Struggle, struggle, struggle.
I want so badly to go to school with him, to see him succeed, to make sure he's doing his best and playing with friends and being happy. I want to be in control and I'm not. I know I'm going to have more mornings where he doesn't want me to leave him. I know there will be more days when he doesn't play with anyone at recess. I know that he's going to have failure and heart break and disappointment; and I want to shield and protect him from it all and I can't. I'm going to continue to struggle with how to help him. I'm going to continue to struggle for the right words. I'm going to continue to struggle but I hope he knows he is loved. I hope he knows that he has a mama who wants to do it all and doesn't because that wouldn't be the best for him. While struggling is uncomfortable, and sometimes my heart does break for him, I hope that through these struggles I can become a better mom to H.