My son Wyatt can be awkward. Maybe not awkward. Exceedingly shy, intense and nervous. He didn't speak until he was over three years old. He had panic attacks all last year, fearful, he said, of dying. His first grade teacher told me he was the quietest kid he'd had in well over a decade of teaching. My dad - a pediatrician - said it might be "selective mutism" which I guess just means you don't talk when you don't feel like it. Needless to say this makes it hard for the boy to make friends.
He frets about this. His older brother Virgil is what one might call a "social butterfly". He talks. A lot. Like really a lot. He won't stop talking to me right now while he's playing a video game and I am trying to write this. It's a constant mind-numbing stream of inanities. He's a good student but every teacher he's ever had has felt the need to speak with either me or his father about his spontaneous verbal eruptions. They seem to have calmed this year but his impetus to talk appears rooted in wanting to be included in every conversation. In every friendship. Which he manages to do. He finds himself at the center of the social circle of Ms. A's 5th grade class.
Thus Wyatt has said to me: I'll never have friends like Virgil, mom. He squeezed my hand, a little desperate, pleading for help. Which cracked my heart a little bit though I managed to hide my weepy eyes.
So it was with tremendous relish that I rang young Angus' mother when Wyatt told me he wanted said Angus to come over to play. Yay! Wyatt made a friend. Yippee!! Happy happy day. I called. Angus' mother seemed confused. "Why?" she asked. "Well...because. Wyatt likes Angus."
"Is this a sleepover or something?" she quipped. She didn't sound pleased in the slightest. Meanwhile, I was still grinning the grin of a canary eating cat. I did not relent. We made a tentative plan. She didn't call me back though to confirm this tentative plan. Why wasn't she as excited as I was? Was Angus too cool for my Wyatt? Was Wyatt an undesirable in the 2nd grade New Traditions class? Who knew, who cared.
I persevered. I texted, probably irritating the poor woman to death. She didn't seem to care if Angus came over or not. But I did. So here he is in my living room on a rainy Saturday. I didn't even know what he looked like, acted like, nothing, before I hassled his mom into bringing him over. He could've been the thug of our local elementary school, stealing lunch money and tripping kids with trays of chocolate milk and chicken nuggets. Thankfully he's not. He's a sweet kid with big glasses and teeth awry. Wyatt says he's smart and that's why he likes him. That's my boy.
They're playing Wii and then a round of monopoly. And I think Wyatt may just be unselecting 'mute' this year. Sigh.