Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Friend at School?

Try as we might, it is a struggle to get our son to tell us much about what happens in school. Other than from his homework, we don’t know what he is learning in his classes every day. We don’t know what activities he enjoyed and what he did not. And we have no idea if likes any of the other kids in his class.

In fact, about the only time Kai mentions any of the other kids at all is after he’s had a bad day at school. Then he will say how mean everyone else was to him. In reality, in all likelihood, they were not mean at all but he is merely projecting his own bad actions onto them. But because he never says positive about any of them, we have assumed that he has no friends at school.

So it was a surprise to us at a meeting with the school staff last week that they told us that Kai is friends with one boy in particular. Apparently, he and "N" are good buddies, playing together during breaks, lunch, and at PE.

This weekend, we got a first-hand look at how much our son likes N.

The two boys are now on the same special needs soccer team, though due to rain and other commitments, they’ve played together only one time since N joined earlier this spring. On Saturday afternoon, the day of the latest scheduled game, the weather was lousy, even by Midwest standards. It was cold and drizzly and only a few kids showed up. Kai kept asking if N was going to be there. I told him that I did not know, and he asked that I call him up to find out. I told him that I did not know their phone number, but it was likely that N was not going to come due to the bad weather.

As game time arrived and N still had not come, I saw an unusual emotion in Kai. He was disappointed. Kai rarely shows disappointment, usually going toward anger instead. His psychotherapist says that sad feelings are too much for him so he avoids them as much as he can. But, on this day, he couldn’t. He seemed sad and then played a lethargic game of soccer.

But the next day was N’s birthday party. Kai was back to his usual excited self and couldn’t wait to go. The party was at one of those places with the inflatable slides and trampolines where you can jump around a lot. Kai chased N around the whole place and N seemed to enjoy it. They played together the entire time.

And so, after years of thinking that our son would have trouble making friends, in one weekend we saw the makings of two potential friendships (including the boy I wrote about yesterday who shares Kai’s love of the periodic table).

My son having friends? I can’t think of anything better than that.


  1. What a nice story. My son has one friend who he goes to see (at his house) once a week for a few hours, He used to go to school with him. He looks forward to going there. I remember my youth. Having a close friend meant a lot. I didn't have many, but the one or two I had... felt special.

  2. Thanks. I'm not one to have many friends, but one or two good friends is great. That's what I wish for my son.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...