My son has his first girlfriend. He's 4.5. I didn't have my first boyfriend until I checked a "yes or no" box in 5th grade. And even then I didn't want to commit to a 10-yr old boy nicknamed Cricket so I added a "maybe" box and checked it... a girl's gotta keep a little mystery. But again, I was 10- my son is not quite 5. Yet this is actually a good thing for him, because if he has a girlfriend, it means he has a FRIEND! Knowing his propensity to not relate to other kids, I never thought I would see the day. I dropped him and his brother off for their half day of preschool today and I stayed for a few minutes to settle Everett who was being the cutest little koala cling-on you ever did see. In that time I witnessed Tristan holding hands with another blonde-haired, blue-eyed cutie pie, skipping and jumping around the preschool room grinning from ear to ear. I admit I had tears. Good tears.
For the boy whose social skills rivaled that of a pet rock, my 4 year old has come a long way. I have often blogged about some of our mis/adventures with other parents who ask why he looks so catatonic when other kids try to talk to him. He would panic anytime someone would even whisper in his direction... it's part of his anxiety, part sensory related as he developed a fear of any and everything at a young age. Don't quite know why God wired him that way, but He has his reasons. To increase his social skills, we prayed about putting him in preschool last year when he was 3. We really debated because we thought 3 was so early for school, and shouldn't they just play to learn? Turns out some kids need that extra boost and need to be taught HOW to play and HOW to interact, and my son is one of them.
To help him further acquire some of those necessary social skills we enrolled him in a 3:1 kid to teacher ratio classroom and it's the perfect environment for him. He even has a "Comfort Teacher" whom he can run to anytime he can't handle a situation or certain emotions. I don't know about you, but I could use a "Comfort Teacher" in my life. Maybe at work or when I have to make tough decisions. Perhaps a "Designated Hugger" at most people's offices would help adults through the work day.
Anyway, all that is to say how amazed I continue to be at how far my Little Guy has come. To know he is now struttin' around his preschool with a girlfriend on his arm just makes me smile. Not like he's a player, but to see him interacting with another child just warms a mama's heart to the core. We all need a friend in life, and I am so glad to see Tristan is learning the skills to make a friend. Whether or not he can keep her if she tries to borrow one of his "Paw Patrol" stickers is another story, but for the time being I am just elated at knowing someone cares for hanging out with my son.