I won’t lie, I’m feeling a little queasy right now, but in a good way. This afternoon something rather wonderful (hopefully) is going to happen. Something that shows another step forward with Monkey’s confidence, a big step, for both of us. Monkey is going on a solo play date, for the first time, to a house he’s never been to before. He’s going without insisting I go too.
This is massive for us. In fact he’s rarely gone on any play dates, apart from his very best friend, he’s never really been bothered. But even then, with a boy and his Mum he’s known for a very long time, I’ve always had to go too.
But his friend J is leaving the school at the end of the month. They moved to a different part of the town over the Easter holidays and he’ll be starting at his new school in June. I’m gutted for Monkey as he struggles to make friends and J has been his friend in class for a couple of years now. He says he’s ok about it, but I don’t think he’s really thought about J not being with him anymore.
J’s Mum asked if Monkey could come on a play date the other day and I said yes I’m sure he’d love to. It’ll be a bit of an adventure for him, as J’s Mum doesn’t have a car and they’ll be walking some way to a bus stop and then catching a bus to where he’s now living. I’ll then pick him up after his tea.
As soon as I’d agreed, the doubts started to kick in. Would he actually go, when he realises I’m not going with him. How will he react when I’m not the one picking him up from school. Will he get upset when he gets to a house he doesn’t know.
When Monkey came out of school on Tuesday I told him all about going to J’s house and the adventure they’d have together going on a solo play date. I ‘bigged up’ the idea of going on a bus and the fun they’d have, and that they’d be having pizza for tea. Then the question I dreaded, are you coming too Mummy? No Monkey, J’s Mummy is going to pick you up from school and I’ll come over once you’ve had your pizza. I held my breathe and honestly expected the worst. I envisaged having to explain to J’s Mum that Monkey doesn’t feel confident with going on a solo play date, going anywhere without me. It didn’t happen. He just accepted it. Ok, yippee I’m going to J’s house! Relief, surprise and apprehension filled me all at once. Wow, what a turn up.
So today, here we are. I dropped Monkey off at school and explained again that J’s Mummy would be picking him up. This will be the first time ever that anyone other than Daddy P or I have picked him up from school. The first time ever that he’s been ok about that fact. It’s a big day for both of us. A day that sees my 7 year old do something that his peers have been doing for ages from what I’ve seen. A day that shows his confidence really has taken a big step forward. I’m proud and a little worried all at the same time. My baby is taking another step in his growing up journey. It’s a step I’ve longed for him to feel happy to take, and I’m glad he’s doing it. But I won’t feel totally happy until I pick him up and know he’s been ok.
Going on a solo play date aged 7 years and nearly 5 months. A big day, an independent day. A growing up day. A milestone to remember. Am I clock watching? You bet!