getting to know you

Friends.
I feel like I haven't had that one special best friend in a long time. But I have been surrounded by many awesome people who I appreciate so much and I will take what I can get at this point. In this stage of my life, my kids are ultra demanding, and it hasn't afforded me the luxury of maintaining the kind of friendships I had in my youth. The kind where I'd stay up late giggling with them, talk to them everyday, do outings with them every weekend. I guess that's more "high school" but I find myself craving that sort of friendship at times. Relationships change when you're married too, as you kind of want to hang out with your spouse (at least I hope you do!), and then the more kids you add to the picture, the less time you have for others.
We've had a pretty serious year looking at relationships as it relates to our eldest. He is the type that tends to latch on to one person and will devote his every play date to that person. (Much like his parents.) He has had some great friends in his past and yet they are few. He seems to lack confidence that other people like him beyond his small little circle. The funny part is that most people like him, but he's not brave enough to join them. This year he was put into a grade 4/5 split where he didn't hardly know anyone, and his best friend was in a different class. He ended up gravitating to a newer kid who accepted him right away. This kid (lets call him "Tim") comes from a rough background. He is now living with his grandparents as his parents are unwilling/incapable of raising him. Tim obviously deals with a lot of anger and emotions because of this I am sure. He hasn't been the best influence on Riley, yet the two of them have so much in common and play great together. We are fighting between this balance of wanting to help Tim and be a good influence in his life, versus wanting Riley to hang out with other kids who have had a little more stable upbringing. Though there have been friends raised in stable families that have really hurt him as well. Of course we can't dictate who he hangs out with at school, but I've been trying to arrange play dates with other kids to expand his circle a little. I didn't think relationships, even among boys, could be quite so difficult. Or that at such a young age, Riley wouldn't feel confident enough to hang out with anyone on the playground. Kids can be so mean. And it's hard to be a mom and balance that feeling of protection and "poor you" with training them to be assertive and get out there.
I am sure that the best training I can give my boys is to show them how to be a good friend myself, and I need to get better at it. Despite the (3) distractions!!
Cheers to "girls night" out.

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