Owen woke up in the middle of the night last Sunday, crying. “I miss my friends,” he wailed. Since it was Sunday, I comforted him, but was also chuckling. “You’ll see them tomorrow,” I said.
It wasn’t until half way through the week that it dawned on me what he meant. He wasn’t eager to see his friends the next morning. He misses the fact that his three best friends are no longer in his class. He misses the fact that he is no longer part of a triangle of boys, but is instead the odd one out. The other two boys, from whom he was inseparable three months ago, seem to have moved on. They have each other. A couple of times, they have told him that they don’t want to be his friend anymore. Even though he occasionally still plays with them, he senses that they are no longer “safe” friends. Rejection is hard, and the worst part about it is it can rob you of your trust.
I know this is only a small setback, and I know that he will have to start all over making friends next year, but I wish someone had thought of this before they took all is friends out of his class. I think I know why they did it, too. Owen is so friendly, it looks like he could make friends with anyone. He’s also apparently sensitive, and very much my son. Rejected once, I will retreat forever in shame and humiliation. I’m that crazy person who thinks (thought) that if I never talk to someone again it’s like he or she never existed.
It doesn’t seem to be getting better, either. I was called in today to pick him up early because he was weeping into his lunch. He has a cold, granted, but I don’t think that was the problem. There needs to be a way to make the daycare safe and happy again. I just don’t know how to help it happen.