Today was such a beautiful day I couldn't wait to take the kids to the park. A few hours of reading and peace for me, a few hours of running and screaming for them. I settled into the nook of a big shady tree and cracked open my book, occasionally peeking over its' pages to check on the kids.
For awhile, it was all perfectly normal. They ran and chased each other and dug into the wood chips under the play equipment. They made up games and spun tales with other kids.
And then I heard the dialogue in my head and realized that as far as I've come from my hermit-like tendencies on the outside, I'm still that shy kid who fears rejection. Even if it's not me that faces exclusion.
I watched my 2 year old approach some boys who seemed to about 4 or 5. They were playing in the wood chips and David just sat right beside them and began digging with them and talking to them. At first they just stared at him and I found myself silently pleading with them to like him, to include him, please, please like him. In a few minutes they were smiling at him and going along with whatever game he had invented.
I realize that I do that a lot.
With David and Breanna. Silently pleading with the other kids to please like them, please include them, please want to be their friend! It's always silent (thankfully!), I don't want to be that mom. But I wonder if they know anyway. I wonder if they see my desperation for them to have friends, lots of friends, the thing I never had but always wanted and I wonder what it says to them.
I know that not everyone they meet will include them, will claim them as one of theirs. I hope that my desperation won't hurt them more when they are rejected.
I wonder what it's like to watch your kids play and just be kids and not worry about whether or not they'll turn out like you. And fervently hope that they'll be a far better version.