Most of us take for granted the process of making friends. Of the introducing yourself to a stranger, and getting through the small talk to make a friend. Of learning the things to say and not to say to a new friend, the way to act and not to act toward a new friend.
Then you have a child with Aspergers.
Jamie has always had a rough go. He was almost kicked out of pre-K because of his anger outbursts, and quite understandably, no child wanted to be his friend, for fear of getting beaten up by an irate Jamie when things didn't go his way.
Last year, with the diagnosis, and the social skills classes, we watched Jamie change. Last year the majority of the kids at the birthday party were Iain's friends, not Jamie's, but he had decided he wanted a friend.
This year at his birthday party, the majority of the kids there were Jamie's friends, not Iain's. Watching Jamie interact with his friends was terrific. He would play with them, they laughed, and when he needed a break, he'd leave, and no one took offense. This was where I met his friend.
The kid seemed a bit out-going, but also had some Aspie traits I recognized. Jamie talks about this boy all the time. They started trying to figure out where each other lived. They were convinced it was the same street. I asked Jamie to ask his friend if he'd like to come over for a sleep over some time. My thought was if he didn't, I didn't want to email his mom and then have Jamie's heart break when she said no.
This week he's been asking about the boy alot. I emailed his mother. The boy has been talking about Jamie and misses him as well, and the mother thinks a sleep over is a great idea. They'll be gone for the next 2 weekends, but we're going to set something up when they get back in time.
Jamie is so excited. He keeps asking to read the email from the child's mother. Then he's upset because he won't get to see his friend for at least two weeks.
Can I say that this makes me almost want to cry?
He's FINALLY making friends! He's going to have a friend come spend the night! Oh how far he has come in the last 4 years. I'm so proud of him. I'm proud of the other boy for seeing past Jamie's peculiarities and making friends with him.
I'm also scared to death the boy will break Jamie's heart. This is such a big step for Jamie. I don't want him hurt and deciding not to put himself back out there again and face rejection. I also know if he is rejected, it will be hell in this house.
So now, I'm happy my baby has a friend, other than his brother, happy he will get to see him shortly, and ecstatic my baby wants to have a friend spend the night. Do normal 7 year old things.
Keeping fingers crossed.