Saturday, June 16, 2007
We went to a neighborhood swim party today, Cheese and I. I had trouble getting him there. It rained then cleared, but the thunder remained off and on. Just as we arrived, most of the kids got out of the water, because of thunder, and for ice cream. Cheese didn't go in the water, afraid it would lightning. I sat with the women. He ate some stuff, then sat on some rocks near the pool, by himself. After a bit I went and sat with him for a little. The other kids were inside. I then went back and sat with the women, it had felt odd to both sit there apart from everyone else, at another person's house, and Cheese wasn't talking to me, just looking down beat and glum. Also I thought it would be good for me to talk to some women. Cheese just continued looking sad and bored, and kept coming over asking when we would leave. I felt bad, so we did leave. It was awkward for both of us, this attempt at interaction. On the walk back home, Cheese said one of the ladies told him he could go inside too. I thought no one had asked him. I asked him why he didn't go, he said "why bother". I think he felt, he would just be inside not talking to anyone, as opposed to outside not talking to anyone. The women were nice to me, but the whole thing just made me feel, that we are more on the outside, then I felt before.
Cheese isn't very social. I feel bad that I haven't given him skills to help him mingle with other people. But I don't know how to give him what I don't have. I never know what to do or say. Cheese does have two kids now that he hangs around with (which makes me feel so much better, I used to really worry about him). We are not good at bending toward other people. Cheese wont play kickball, as all the other kids do at recess, he digs in the dirt, or makes words with the mulch out on the playscape. He will do what he prefers to do, even if that means he will be doing it alone. (and it usually does mean that).
Fifth grade graduation was this week. I was worried about the applause. (Whenever I am at school, I notice, that the kids all seem to be nice to my son, they let him borrow their books, and crayons, help him find stuff in his desk, and say hi to him, but he often doesn't say anything back.) Different kids did get different amounts of applause, everyone got some, there was always standard clapping, but beyond that, there was quite a range of degree. Well, I thought to myself, I am right here, and so are my husband and my mom, surely we can clap loud. When they called his name, those kids burst into thunderous applause. I didn't need to hoot, or clap hard, there was no space that needed to be filled with sound. They smiled, they looked at him, some kids put their hands up for a high five (but of course my son wouldn't high five them). He just trudged up to get his diploma/ certificate.
Bob and I talked about it later, when Cheese wasn't around, how surprised we were. I mean to us, it seemd he was in the top three, for most/loudest clapping, out of some 96 kids (def. top 10). I'm not sure why they clapped so, I have to assume that they like him. And I am so grateful. (I know he is not popular, earlier this year, he told me all about top tier, popular kids, and second tier, the rest of the kids. And he is one of the rest of the kids. Which is good, as long as he and some of the other second tiers, get along together; as long as he isn't the only one is his tier, some third or fourth one.)
( he does have artistic talent, he is smart, and funny, but I don't know how much the other kids could know about it if he doesn't talk to them. I have heard the kids talk about how shy he is.
My mom joked, that they clapped so because the other kids always helped him find his assignments in his desk, therefore they felt that his graduation directly related to them.
I think it has something to do with his personality, he is just so himself. I don't think many of them covet his friendship, but I do think they enjoy the quirky element that is Cheese. They do seem to care about him)
Today, after he sat alone on those rocks, not talking to anyone, and I felt bad for him, and worried about his self-esteem, from feelings of rejection or disinterst of other kids; I thought about yesterday, and those applause, and I could feel better, I could feel that he is going to be ok. The thought of Middle school makes me nervous, there will be lots of kids there who don't know him, don't understand his ways; but in time, I believe they will find that they do like him, and that his overall experiences there will be alright. (and I am going to force him to pick some club or activity to join toward that end) . About an hour after we got home, a kid he really likes from school, called to set up a day when he could come over and play. The first time outside of school they will be getting together. And I could breath again. Thank you God.
(by the bye, this isn't from today)