The other day, Harrison and I went to our local park. The weather was gorgeous and we still had a few hours before my husband came home from work, so I grabbed my camera and a bottle of water and we headed into the sunshine.
We walked around the abandoned barns and through the small gardens and I snapped pictures, hoping to get a few good ones to put in my new office. It had been so long since I’d pulled out my DSLR that it felt good to hear the “click” in my ear and watch my kid through a lens.
After a bit, a group of kids came to the same area – a mixture of preteens and elementary schoolers and one just-toddling baby. Harrison was thrilled as he loves other children and slowly worked his way over to where they were playing. As they ran and played, he chased after them and shrieked with joy. I watched from a close distance and did my best to smile over at the moms, who sat in a close group together.
I watched Harrison chase after the other children and I saw them look at him like he was odd, this strange toddler that couldn’t talk to introduce himself or understand the game. They weren’t mean to him, but they didn’t acknowledge him.
Five minutes later, I found myself swallowing a lump in my throat and calling Harrison, saying it was time to go. Except it wasn’t…I just couldn’t stand watching my kid be the “outsider.”
I had lots of a friends as a young girl but somewhere in middle and high school, I became more socially awkward in being alone. If I have a friend with me? Safety in numbers and I am gauranteed to say “hello.” Standing by myself in a crowd or at a party? I sip my drink and pretend to look everywhere but the group of people I ache to speak with.
So I have a hard time not feeling uncomfortable with my toddler’s gregarious personality and ability to approach any new friends at any time. I just have to realize that as long as they’re not mean to him, he is happy to just be chasing the game and I shouldn’t let my insecurities ruin his fun.
Do you have any “issues” that you feel spill over into motherhood? How are you handling it?