Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Life Lesson

We went to the park this morning, where Sawyer found a little boy to play with. He is now at the age where he will try to make a friend on his own, which is infinitely more fun than hanging with Mommy and his baby sister.

This little boy, whose name was John, turns 3 in April, so he's a few months younger than Sawyer. His mother, an older mom, told me John is not very verbal but is very physical. Anyway, he and Sawyer had a great time going down slides together (on the little kids equipment), climbing up ladders, and chasing each other.

But then John went up on the big kids' equipment. Sawyer gamely followed - until John found an older boy and the two started zipping down the big scary slides that Sawyer won't dare go on. So my poor little guy sat down on the bridge near those slides while the other two boys raced around like crazy. Soon, Sawyer walked back down the stairs. Alone. Because John has no fear of big bumpy slides that can bounce your spleen into your throat.

I could tell by the slump of his shoulders and his slow steps that Sawyer was disappointed to lose his new friend.

My heart broke.

When I pointed out John to Sawyer a few moments later and told Sawyer, "there's John, he's going down the twisty slide, would you like to play too?" Sawyer looked interested for a moment. But then he told me that he was "too busy digging in the sand" and didn't want to play with John anymore.

What do I say? Friends will move on. They will like someone else better because he can climb higher or run faster or he's not cool enough or he wears the wrong jeans - or any other reason that has nothing to do with Sawyer at all. He shouldn't change who he is because of what someone else wants. He is still so, so special, with a smile that melts glaciers and a twinkle in his eye unsurpassed by all the stars in the heavens.

But Sawyer is 3. All he knows is that on this sunny, perfect day, he was left behind. Luckily, it's nothing that a handful of goldfish crackers and making a really cool sand castle can't fix.

If only it could always be that easy to heal my boy's hurt.

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