Over the weekend we had a friend over and though he is a friend to both Rafaella and Santiago, he is closer in age and mindset to our youngest. After a bit of playing, Rafa shows up in my room. I know that face, I’ve seen it before but I ask her what’s wrong anyway. “It’s that…” she begins to explain, “No one wants to play with me.”
I knew from hearing them play that that wasn’t exactly the case. It was more that her brother and friend wanted to play with cars or something of that sort and she had other ideas, but kids don’t know specifics. They know feelings and her feelings were sad.
This isn’t the first time this has happened to her. It won’t be the last either. She is one of very few kids we know that is 4-years old. Most are younger, some are older – and in these younger ages, exact age matters very much, so she doesn’t quite fit in one group and unlike her brother – who doesn’t at all mind playing alone – she hates it. “Sometimes kids don’t want to play what you want to play, they want to play something else, like today. That doesn’t mean that they don’t want to play with you it just means they want to play something different.”
I look at her sad face, “But when they don’t want to play with me, my stomach hurts.”
Now that I officially want to die, as I imagine most mothers would, I continue, “I know. And sometimes kids won’t want to play with you and that’s ok. That doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you.”
She begins to talk about another moment with another girl so I understand now that this moment, today, was just a catalyst for a conversation she’s probably been holding on to for a while. “…and she didn’t want to play with me because she was playing with *Susie.”
I scoop her up and hold her close because I know that even the best explanation won’t be enough and all I could do is hug her and tell her what I believe to be true which is this:
There is nothing wrong with playing alone. There is nothing wrong with walking alone. There is nothing wrong with standing alone. Some of history’s greatest people stood alone and they have made all of the difference. People may not want to play what you’re playing and sometimes, some people might not want to play with you but if you can learn to love your own company and stand in it, those people will never matter.
But I… I will always stand with you… and I’m a scary mother f…
~ UNTIL THE NEXT BOTTLE ~
- Susie is a made up child. We have no friends names Susie.
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