On Saturday we met up with our buds, the Cruzen-Grossman’s at the Hall of Science for a good ol’ fashioned family romp.
It was a BEAUTIFUL day…and on beautiful days, New Yorkers don’t head to museums, so we had the place to ourselves. Which was super fun!
We spent a lot of time in the outdoor play area.
Which brings me to my first story. :) Andrew and Tess were walking hand-in-hand out of the outdoor play area, when they came across a big puddle. Andrew stopped them, and then lifted Tess over the puddle. Then they resumed holding hands and walking. I was behind them when this little scene happened and I couldn’t believe the cuteness. I LOVE their friendship. I LOVE LOVE LOVE it.
Tess said to me MANY times over the course of the morning “I just can’t believe Andrew is 9! He’s getting so big!” True, that, my friend. True, that.
On Sunday we went to a classmate’s birthday party! It was at Chuck E. Cheese’s. My boys have never been to a Chuck E. Cheese’s and I think when they saw what they were missing out on they wondered WHY we haven’t brought them to this marvelous kid wonderland. Though…some marvelous kid wonderlands can be so overstimulating that parents (ahem, like me) ask for the music to be turned down and stop the flashing lights already! Though, I did wait until Isaac brought Dave into the boys’ room and asked him “can I sleep in here?” And since Chuck E. Cheese’s, like the science museum was mostly empty except for this birthday party (with kids who were mostly on the autistic spectrum!), they adjusted things for us. :) Yay! But geesh!
The party was super fun once the music was turned down. The kids loved the games! And loved being together. I was particularly excited because although, the birthday was for a classmate of Andrew’s, the birthday boy’s mom is friends with the mom of a classmate of Isaac’s! And not just any classmate, she is friends with the mom of the ONE kid that Isaac ever talks about. And Isaac talks about this friend like they are thick as thieves. When we arrived, Isaac walked right up to him and smiled and said his name and the boy responded the same. It was adorable…but the rest of the time they sort of looked like this:
Which honestly left me a little puzzled. I thought Isaac was going to interact with his friend like he interacts with Andrew. I pictured Isaac chasing him around and playing games with him and telling him jokes just like he does with Andrew. The other little boy is REALLY social and super friendly and would totally have been game for it, but Isaac sort of checked out. And when I’ve been to the school for various reasons, Isaac’s friend always plays with the other kids in the class while Isaac is usually by himself doing his own thing.
And I gotta say, this makes me sad.
But, it doesn’t make Isaac sad. At least not yet or not that I can tell. And when we left, Isaac thought it was so great that we saw his friend there. It makes me wonder how Isaac thinks about friendship. Because for him, it doesn’t seem to be a lot about interacting with the person he calls a friend. It seems to be about just *enjoying* someone…and sort of from a distance.
Luckily, Isaac is in a program that REALLY emphasizes social interaction. They are constantly showing him what to do to interact with people. And even seeing him initially greet his friend was a new Isaac development. So, I am hopeful that this is a skill that will continue to grow…but the party did show me a clearer picture of how Isaac isolates himself, even from someone he considers a friend.
It’s also so wild to me how different my boys are socially. Andrew’s teachers have had to work with him on not smothering his friends with intense hugs. I’m constantly telling him to give people space. You don’t need to be right in someone’s face to talk to them. Andrew loves people the way a labrador retriever loves… and Isaac’s style couldn’t be more different. If only they could meet in the middle.
Parenting these boys is strong work, I tell you. It’s not for the faint of heart. ;)