We went to the park today. Lots of kids. A group of big kids, about 5 of them 8-13 years of age. Augie came up to me at about 15 minutes in and said “Should I ask the big kids to play mummy-mummy with us?” My mind horribly flashes back to last summer when we tagged along with the boys and girls club at a free-swim and some bigger kids not only said “no, we don’t want to play with you we are leaving.” They didn’t leave, but continued to be rude and mean until I dragged a very confused Aug away. “Why couldn’t they like me?” Is what he had said. I cried while we drove away.
“Yes.” I said “Ask them to play, but if they don’t want to that is okay and you are still a good friend.”
He went over, Becket right behind. I held my breath. I couldn’t hear the from the bench. I was hoping that they would be nice in their refusal. To my surprise the biggest kid called over his brothers? Cousins? and then lay on the ground, clearly making himself the mummy.
That is how it went for 2 hours. 2. They played every game, like siblings (actually better) they traded roles, they invented games. The biggest boy would rub Beck on the head or help Aug to the first bar on the monkey bars. They talked nicely, they put up with the boys being littler and goofier. They all seemed to really have fun. I could hardly bring myself to make them leave. They were all so … happy. They really were pirates and mummies and ducks. They had heaven. They had unity. It was amazing.
When we left (the boys almost threw a fit, I was ready for it) I told the older kids how amazed I was with how they acted. I hope they heard me. I mean they listened, but I hope they heard. I felt like if there was anything at all I could do to preserve that spirit, to keep that love in them as they pass into high school I would try.
And Augie, well, he wasn’t afraid to try again. Other rejections have not killed his spirit. He believes in people. He takes chances. Becket doesn’t think that being the littlest means he is invaluable, or not able to take the lead.
I was just hoping they would get let down easy- expecting rejection for my loving little sons.
The lesson, it seems, was for me.