Three Going on Eight

Every mom has those moments. Those moments when you see something that is upsetting your child and you want to swoop in and make it better. It doesn’t happen all the time but when it does it takes everything in my power to stop and wait. The most recent moment happened this past weekend. We went to the Warwick Valley Winery (Happy Mother’s Day to me) and there were kids everywhere running around. Liam naturally wanted to join in but instead of nearing the group of kids that looked his age he went over to the kids 4 or 5 years older than him. I heard him say, “Come on friends let’s play.” The children were nice but their play was way too sophisticated for Liam and soon he was left in the dust. Sadly he went to a corner and asked to be left alone. It broke my heart at the time, and to be honest as I am typing this the tears are welling in my eyes. The logical part of me knows that there is really nothing wrong here. The truth of the matter is 8 year olds play much differently than 3 year olds; however seeing him so dejected killed me.

Later that afternoon we met a little girl named Willow who was three years old however Liam wanted nothing to do with her. This isn’t the first time I have seen this happen either. For whatever reason, Liam prefers to be around older kids. In the long run I know this isn’t a big deal but right now it seems very much so. I wonder if I waited too long to introduce him to kids his own again. He is always around adults and it wasn’t until this past March that he began school. Liam is a very social child but his wanting to be around older kids concerns me now because he will inevitable be rejected by the older children and have no interest being with the children of his age.

Then there is the other possibility. Liam is perfectly content and happy the way things are. Maybe I am being too sensitive over this. I in no way want to have my feelings influence his behavior. It might be quite possible that Liam’s tendency to want to be around older children will help him in the future.

For now I guess I need to just take a step back and congratulate myself on the fact that I have raised a three year old that is brave and eager to make friends and not worry about the age. After all age is just a number.