Now that I’m back from vacation, summer has truly set in. Toby is in summer school, so we still have a modicum of schedule to keep the house in order, but it only takes us so far. We’re left with swaths of afternoon without structure.
There’s a challenge being a parent of an only child, and that is your child looks to you not only as a parent, but as a playmate. I would like to say that Toby has plenty of friends, but they are all friends during the school year. The one friend we had outside of school had to move to Seattle, which has been difficult to cope with. I’ve had to step it up.
Today I wound up in Target for a few essentials, and as I walked through I found a couple of squirt guns. I’ve never been a fan of them, but at this point my boy needs something fun in his life. I brought them home and set them somewhere I knew he’d find them. He homed in on them like a missile. “What are these, Mom?”
I spent the afternoon getting splashed, and listening to my son laugh delightedly as we played chase and doused each other. I didn’t mind the spray. It takes some effort to get back into the kid mentality, to run like mad but not so fast you outdistance your kid. I’d prefer he had friends to play with, but that is a challenge that we didn’t expect. He has lots of little friends, but making friends with the parents has been challenging.
We are going to the Boys and Girls club on Friday, to try a new venue. Hopefully we can make a connection with some families and develop some lasting friendships. I know that I had few friends until I was older, but Toby is so much more outgoing than I ever was as a child. He makes friends; I just have to figure out how to make friends with the parents, at least to some degree.
This blog post was intended to talk about how wonky my schedule has been lately, but apparently that’s not what is highest on my mind. Toby’s lack of summer friendships has overtaken every other concern for the moment. When we get past this, we’ll be able to relax and enjoy our summer.