Archive for August, 2009

Last night Jay went to play with some neighborhood kids in the court just a few houses down from ours.  I was excited because  although we’ve lived in this subdivision for about a year now, the kids in that court belong to somewhat of a tight little clique.  I’ve tried to help Jay break the ice with them, walking by with Megan and the dogs when they are out.  The dogs help to initiate conversation,  and he’s played with the kids a few times, but he hasn’t really been accepted into their little gang.  I’ve wished on several occasions over the summer that they would invite him to play, and he’s even tried to engage them, but always with lukewarm results.  It’s one of the reasons we moved here– to be closer to Jay’s school and because our old neighborhood consisted of mainly older couples, or single people with no children.  (Also, we needed more room.)  Jay’s best friend, who is two years younger than him, lives on the other side of the neighborhood, but I’d like Jay to make more friends, especially some his own age.  It’s why I let Jay ride the bus to school, although we are within walking distance.  I thought it would help him become more familiar with neighborhood kids.

It’s been slow going, but I think they’re  starting to come around.  I wanted to follow Jay and spy on him from the bushes, but even I know that would be crossing a line.  I can’t help it– his Dad and I are both giddy seeing him riding scooters and bikes with the other kids.  He came home sweaty and whining about wanting to stay out later, and I’m sure I was grinning from ear to ear. 

Of course, wanting to watch him with his friends is not the only reason I wished I could spy on him.  There’s also the safety factor.  I know everyone says this, but it really is different than when we were kids.  I remember staying out all day during the summer when I was Jay’s age, roaming freely through neighborhoods and even going to the store nearby.  I can’t imagine letting Jay do that today.  With such scary stories about children as old as eleven getting abducted practically in front of their houses, it’s hard to know how much independance is safe. 

At least I am more confidant with Jay’s attention to his surroundings.  We try to treat Jay like any other child, but let’s face it, there are some extra safety concerns when your child doesn’t hear as well as others.  There’s always the fear of him not hearing an approaching car, and when he was younger I always stayed in closer proximity to him in parking lots, crowds, and situations where there was potential danger.  At the beach, for instance,  I may have looked like a hovering mother, but I didn’t have the luxury of calling my son back if he was wandering in too deep into the ocean. 

Such a balancing act, as the scales continue to become tipped more and more on the side of Jay’s independance.  Part of me wants him to stay at this age forever, to remain my little sweaty, puppy-dog smelling little boy.  I know there will come a time soon when any efforts to help on my part will be rejected with exasperation, perhaps some resentment.

*sigh*  I think raising a child is going to prove not nearly as difficult as letting one go.


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