Monday, February 01, 2016

Microblog Mondays: Alone, or Lonely?

Our dear Mel over at Stirrup Queens has begun a blog phenomenon... as she frequently does. 

Microblog Mondays. Writing in your own space. Something short and sweet. But it's meant to take back our bloggy space and call it our own. I am going to try to do this periodically. Life's hectic. So we'll see how long this lasts.

As children, my sister and I grew up on a street with oodles of children. She was very social; she loved being WITH people, doing things WITH the kids. Heaven forbid she had to spend time alone. That was something my sister didn't enjoy at all. Me on the other hand, I loved being alone. Reading. Writing. I remember playing Barbies all by myself and loving it. I enjoyed time with my friends too of course, but I didn't depend on them to entertain me. Then again, I had my sister pretty much attached at my hip.

Those same kids on the street, they were in my Girl Guides troop. We did lots of activities together. And some of the kids from my church were in Girl Guides with us too. As were kids in the school choir. A circle of us. All around each other. We either knew each other personally, or knew someone THROUGH someone else or through a different activity/group.

When it comes to Petite, I am sad for her. Very sad.

The plan, the great plan we envisaged, was to have two children (at least). If for no other reason, so she could have a sibling close to her age. Hubby and I are older and when we are gone, who will she have? Seriously... who? She'll be very much alone.

Yes, she has her older sister (who is now 21) and her older brother (who turns 20 today by the way). They love her. But she is only 6. She's far removed in age from them. When she is only 20, they will be 33 and 35. Huge differences.

Petite has made a couple of good friends in school. Not many though. She tells us that many of the kids tease her.
They have already told her that she is...
oh how I shudder...
the dreaded "F" word.

Fat. They call her fat. And I cry at night for her. I truly do. I know what that feels like. I know how it is to grow up with that stigma. I worry for her. I cannot take it away. Other than encouraging her to be healthy, eat well and exercise, what else can I do? I don't know. There are no solutions.

She has no friends on our street to speak of. There are only a few children in neighbouring houses and they are all at least three years older than she is. That makes a difference at her age. And let's face it... being an only child, she definitely knows how to be bossy and direct the playtime! She has ideas and Lord forbid if you don't wanna follow along!

She attends swimming classes, but has no close friends there. She comes to church with me, but has no close friends there. She goes to Sparks (aka Girl Guides, but for young children, ages 5-6), and has only one good friend there. And she has one friend from her years at daycare... but that little girl now has many school friends too.

Petite just wants someone to play with. To spend time with. To be silly with and play stuffies and pretend, and dress up, and Barbies, and Lego, and all that sort of thing. I can only do so much. Let's face it, I'm way too OCD to have much imagination! Even kneeling to play with her while she is in the bath is giving me huge troubles... my psoriatic arthritis is acting up badly and my left knee is a bloomin' mess at the moment. (I've no idea how I'm going to run a 10K in May!) So I'm desperately seeking a way to resolve this for her.

I see that as a child, I was alone, but never lonely.
I see that Petite is very much alone, and definitely quite lonely. 
I don't know how to fix it or help her.
I don't think I can.

And again, I cry at night, wondering what I can do, short of moving to a 'young family' area, to help her socialize more. The last couple of weeks, I have organized playdates on the weekends. I think I need to do more of that, and make it a regular thing. I have to do something, lest she grow up sad, alone, and lonely and perpetually wishing for more.


Pam said...

Oh how I can relate. I was teased as a kid as well. I had friends, but none I was really close with when I was her age, and not very many. And I was shy, painfully shy which didn't help in the making friends department. I found, for me, it wasn't until I was in high school that I made some good friends, and then university.

Other than Sparks, what about some sort of group/sport? Is she a sporty kid? Would she enjoy soccer do you think? Or maybe karate or something else like that?

Lollipop Goldstein said...

I wish I could tell you that it gets easier, but the friend worries (at least over here) have continued towards middle school. On one hand, it feels like kids connect less and play less than they did when we were little. It feels like things are organized around activities more than just the wander-around-the-neighbourhood free play. I think playdates help a lot. Trying to organize something at the school during recess or lunch time. Hosting a parent-child (or kids only) book club.

I wish it were easier. I, too, was a kid who was alone a lot but also liked being alone. But yeah, when you decide that you feel lonely and want to be with people, it can be hard when that system isn't in place. And it takes a lot of work to keep up that system.

loribeth said...

I wish I had some answers for you... you have some good advice above. I think a conscious effort to schedule playdates & other organized activities is a good idea. It will probably get easier once she is in school full time and has more contact with more kids. (((hugs)))