OR - fall out from the pandemic
When I first met the lil one I was amazed at her socialization...... everyone and I do mean EVERY ONE! was her friend ( at least in her mind!!) She was a social butterfly - which did land her in trouble frequently in class cause she played and talked too much - but yeah - my social butterfly
Two weeks ago was our first week together here in the country. She went for quick bike rides (between rain storms) and I took her swimming but for the most part she hung around here amusing herself.
This Saturday she was moping around - looking miserable. We sent her off for a bike ride - she was back in 10 minutes and sulked around till I got totally fed up. I said to her 'go find a friend - GO GO GO! go to the park go to the beach - GO find a friend!! and don't come back till you do!' (in hind sight not the most intelligent thing to say to a sulky 8 year old)
Off she went.
Only after she had been gone for 30 minutes did I realize she hadn't taken her walkie talkie! GAH no way to contact her and this park is HUGE !!! Sir Steve put a note on the door telling her we had gone looking for her and to stay put till we got back - and we headed off with walkie talkies in hand to find our lil one.
As we approached the 'big' park we could hear her laughing......... she had found a group of kids and was playing happily!! We handed her her walkie talkie - told her to have fun and we'd call her when it was dinner time. Sir Steve and I walked back content that life was maybe returning to normal. Sunday she was gone soon after breakfast and only came home when we walkie talkied her to come for a meal.
It occurred to me - that after being home for almost 2 years and not socializing with other children - the lil one was nervous? shy? uncertain about how to do it....... a trait she had been born with - making friends!!! Some of that lack of confidence was certainly due to her 'growing up' and developing insecurities - BUT a lot of the hesitancy - I am sure - was due to the quarantines. She lost the skill ............. and confidence.
Today she woke early - like REALLY early (I sent her back to bed to read till I had had my second cup of coffee - cause I'm mean like that!!) But when she was gobbling down her breakfast I asked what was on her agenda today........ She has plans to go to the park and 'hook' up with her new friends!!
Life is good when the kids are playing again - and laughter fills the air!