I worry about my grandkids sometimes. I so hate for them to suffer as kids often do at their ages with friends who won’t be friends anymore, feeling like no one likes them, etc. They are all such sweet kind hearts and that sensitivity is such a gift but it also can feel yucky. I encourage them to never let anyone take away their shine, their smile, etc. Never.
Nyna who is 7 tells me that she likes to sing and to dance when she is feeling down or even when she is feeling happy. She is a very creative girl who likes to sing, dance, sew, write, read, and journal. She is also a nature girl who loves to hug trees and to spend time outside down by the creek.
Joseph who is 5 has not had as much experience yet in the friend problem but I did witness an experience that broke my heart. I had taken him to a birthday party and he told me all the way there how the party boy was his best friend and that they had been best friends for a long time and would always be best friends. He was so excited to be going to the birthday party. We got there and his friend just ran right past him and never acknowledged he was there except when he was opening presents he hugged each person and said thank you so that was his only acknowledgement. I did not step in, of course. I just checked in with him from time to time but he spent a lot of time standing around with his hands in his pockets just watching the other kids play. It was obvious that the party boy had a lot of cousins and close family friends who he spent a lot of time with already and so he just didn’t have the time or energy for Joe. Oh my goodness, my heart ached for him. On the way home, I didn’t bring it up, but I did ask him if he wanted to talk about anything and he did not. So …
Christopher who is 12 has really suffered in the friend situation. Someone he had been friends with since kindergarten found a new friend who didn’t want to involve Christopher. Christopher also is very sensitive – always concerned about how someone is feeling. They eventually started sending him to a smaller school and he really is feeling much better about himself since going there. It is a Christian school and so some of the kids who he goes to church with are there. Sometimes some of the things they teach him, I cringe at, but his parents have been very good about telling him he should never just accept everything a teacher says as gospel. He needs to search his own heart and soul. He gets up every Sunday morning at 5:00am and rides up to the church with his Dad (my son) and he “serves” (another name for “volunteers”) by making coffee, cleaning up the coffee room, making sure there is enough creamer, etc. My son heads the production team so he has to be there for all the services. They usually leave about 1pm unless there is a special event and then they stay longer. Christopher loves it.
Gideon who is 17 has a mad scientist type lab going on in the basement. It isn’t a chemical type lab. It is an inventor type lab. He tries to invent things and to recreate some things like spiderman’s glove that shoots out a web. He does well in school but he is what can be called a typical teenager in that he doesn’t smile much at home and he tolerates his younger siblings and his parents can’t get him to talk about anything much. I worry about him because he hasn’t started working yet and I don’t think he has a realistic view of life after high school. He has a truly brilliant engineering mind though so I believe he can do well doing something he loves but I’m not sure if he knows quite how to get there. Time will tell how it all works out.
The thing is I have always been more of the grandparent (Yia Yia) who they can talk to and I talk to them about all kinds of things that they may not learn at school or even from their parents – nothing their parents would not want me to talk to them about … just things like people who choose to live in the wilderness and build shelters and hunt and fish for food, etc. – and we watch a lot of tiny house videos on youtube. They can get youtube on their big screen television so all of us can watch it comfortably. Joe, the 5 year old, likes to watch humans saving animals videos but they also make him sad so he will only watch a few examples before he says okay i don’t want to watch that anymore. We watch music videos a lot, as well. They introduced me to two youtube series … one is a guy from England who spends the night in various places like an abandoned building, the roof of his house, a graveyard, etc. He is goofy funny and having that accent adds to the humor, I think. I wonder if fellow Brits think he is as funny as we do. Then they introduced me to these two guys who build forts … like they may go into a huge store like Sams Club or something and they pull out the say … paper towels and then they get into the back and then rebuild the walls of the paper towels two deep so if someone grabs some paper towels it will not reveal them. That is just one example. They keep coming out to go get things in the store like a rug, a picture, etc. and they create this little apartment fort. They put everything back when they are done but it is really funny watching them do it. They are grown men but still young and definitely still little boys at heart.