Tuesday, October 3, 2006
But I missed you!!
I have to share something Holden (my articulate and bright 4 3/4 year old) told me today when we were in the car. I don't want to forget this.
Last year when he was 3 1/2 some neighbors invited him to go to a church function for kids. It was like a vacation Bible school week during the summer. They talked Holden into going on one day for a few hours. They drove him and brought him home. He was totally comfortable with going and so was I. He had gone with these friends/neighbors to Chuck E. Cheese before and played at their house many times. I stayed home with little baby Camden. He had fun and enjoyed being with their little boy around Holden's age. It was no big deal and Holden was glad to do something different. As far as he told me he enjoyed his time at their church. He brought home some art projects and was tired.
Most people know we attachment parent and are unschoolers. We don't rely on daycare or preschool. We like to be with our kids and they like to be with us. We stay quite busy and the kids thrive in the security of our presence and encouragement.
So this brings me to today. We were driving past the church he went to with his friends and he told me he remembered going there with his friends a long time ago. I had to try to remember what he was talking about because we have been to this church for other events with him and these friends. I asked him if he liked it there. He said no, I missed you and dad. I was shocked! He said he felt lonely and had no one to play with. He said he didn't want to be there and asked to go home a whole bunch of times but they didn't bring me home. I said, "but there were other kids there and your friend." He said, "yeah but I still missed you." He said this is why I never want to go to school. I told him once he is older and ready to do more things without us he'll enjoy these types of things more. But he doesn't have to go to school, I told him.
Holden and Camden are generally very secure and confident. We don't push them into situations they are not ready for. Holden has lots of friends and goes to their houses without us and his friends come over too.
I remember when I was a girl I felt lonely at school and day care too. My heart ached for my little boy. However, I'm glad he has the above experience to draw from. He says he never wants to go to day care either because they have no one to play with. I think he means no adult love and attention. I know adults only have so much energy and patience when they have a dozen or more kids under their watch. Kids end up having to fend for themselves a lot of times and worry about getting their needs met. Their emotional and physical need for closeness just don't get met a lot of times. I'm amazed at how much Holden still wants to be near me (or on my lap) and watch what I am doing all the time. It's quite fascinating to fully understand and appreciate the needs of a human child. It can be overwhelming sometimes too...But we always manage to work things out.
The photo was taken in August 2005 at our house: Holden (3 1/2), Heather, and Marc (3 1/2)--a friend of ours. We were having a "Messy Party."