When I was pregnant, I was lucky enough to connect with a group of mums in a prenatal class. After the kids were all born, within about a month of each other, we continued to get together as a group about once a week. In those days, it was all about us. We each needed, desperately, the support network of fellow mums to help us navigate the uncharted waters of motherhood. Shoulders to cry on, understanding ears to listen to our troubles and doubts. Three and half years later, I am still grateful everyday for this wonderful group of women I now consider my good friends. We still get together regularly, and I know I’d be lost without them.
But now when we meetup, it’s no longer all about us. It’s about facilitating and watching as our children learn to forge their own relationships and friendships. In the early days, I remember how we’d have a group of eight kids, all lying around on the floor together, but oblivious and unaware of each other’s existence. Now though, I watch as they greet each other with hugs and smiles. They hold hands, run, jump, dance, sing, chat, and play games. He talks about his friends by name, about how he wants to see them and play with them. He wants kisses when they say goodbye. He tells them he’ll miss them.
I know all this means that, one day, I’ll no longer be his preferred playmate. But observing and supporting my son has he develops these friendships on his own, it’s a wonderful thing. And when his little friend tells him, “I love you. You’re so cute” it just makes my heart melt. I’m so grateful he’s making these connections with friends with whom he can share in life’s joy.