I had the unique opportunity to watch my sons at recess yesterday, unknown to them. I was in the "glass hallway" at school assisting with Vision Screening and I happened to notice my boys both out at recess.
I first noticed Nathan emerging from a circle of girls who were chasing him. His checks were bright red from chasing and being chased by many of his classmates. As I followed him with my eyes I happened to notice Topher, standing on a mound of frozen snow. What struck me is that he was alone, stomping at the snow pile. He then moved slowly to one of the play structures and then again out in to the yard. Kids ran here and there past him and occasionally someone would engage him, they would interact briefly and I would lose sight of him. Glancing around the yard I would once again find him in a new spot, alone. He seemed perfectly content to play on his own, and truthfully has been since birth.
Yet in my heart I am so convinced that it must bother him that I want to go out on the playground and insist each and everyone of those kids play with him. I want to shelter him from the pain of being left out, but I don't dare act upon this impulse because it would surely embarrass him more than help. I can't help but wonder what is it about this young man, my sensitive middle child, that pulls at my heart strings so much? He is a smart, strong and compassionate young man and I should, instead, be thankful that he is learning an important life lesson so early and doing just fine.