Friday, February 8, 2013

My Heart Broke a Little... Another Piece of Innocence Lost

Dropping James off at school is something I have started to enjoy.  He is happy to get out and get with his friends.  This morning was like any other this week.  He collected his stuff and opened the door on the van with great expectations of good times.  He got three steps outside this morning and saw a friend from his class.  James called to the friend, and greeted him with an exuberant "Hi (insert kids name here)!" The child shot him a quick glance and walked on without acknowledging James in similar fashion.  When my sweet little man looked back at me, there was sadness in his eyes and my heart broke with the loss of innocence he was experiencing.
I don't expect everyone to be friends with James because I know that it would be unrealistic.  However, James's "village" has spent the past 5+ years pulling him out of his world with the promise that ours was a better friendlier and nonthreatening one.  We have worked on basic social skills the most basic being greeting.
James loved Dragon Tales for a long time and they played the "Hello" song often.

He learned how to say hello and goodbye.  He has an expectation when he makes the first move because that is how the game is played.  How do I explain to him that not everyone wants to play the game.
James loves kids and I am sure he will continue to say "hello" to friends and most of them will respond with a positive reaction.  It is a tough lesson to learn, that not everyone will be your friend after so many years of telling him, "Go and say hi to that kid.  You may make a new friend."