Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Social Studies

It wasn't all that long ago that Boo didn't know how to draw a triangle. I still remember the days when he didn't know what one was.

Now, at age 8, we're dealing with triangles of the romantic kind.

This is surfacing, admittedly, a little sooner than I would have anticipated. And being that Boo has Asperger's, well, this makes things extra complicated. (As if romantic triangles among the second grade set isn't complicated enough.)

Allow me to explain. Boo is friendly with a boy named E. in his class. Yesterday, Boo arrived home bearing a letter that he'd written to E. during after-school care.

"Dear E.," it began.

"I am not your freind any more. We have been freinds since kindergarden, not just 1st grade. Because you have a girlfrend, I can only be your frend at recess and in related arts."

I found this going through his backpack.

"Care to explain what this is about?" I asked Boo.

Supposedly, E. has a girlfriend, named A. (Boo had written a letter to her, too.) In Boo's mind, this does not work. You can't have more than one friend at the same time. So, he was removing himself from E.'s friendship.

Which, for obvious reasons, makes me very sad. E. seems like a nice kid, and the very fact that anyone would be my little guy's friend with his host of quirks warms my heart. And now he was just ready to throw this away? (Part of me wanted to say, "Do you have any idea of how many hours of therapy and dollars we have spent just to get to this point ... and you're just going to throw your friend under the school bus?")

He would have none of our explanations that Mommy and Daddy have more than one friend. He would have none of Daddy's explanations that you can still have a girlfriend and be someone's friend. We referenced several of our close friends as examples. Daddy was still friends with Uncle J. even after he met Aunt R. Same with Uncle M. who is now married to his girlfriend, Aunt A. And Uncle M. and Aunt S.

I tried asking how he would feel if he received a letter like that. "Wouldn't you feel sad that someone didn't want to be your friend anymore?" "No, I would be fine."

"Maybe you'll change your mind," I offered, adding the sage advice of former Philadelphia Mayor Frank Rizzo of "never write a letter and never throw one away." (That may have originated with someone pre-dating Rizzo, but since I've always heard it attributed to him, let's go with that.)

As a last ditch effort, we tried to convince him to leave the letter at home and we would discuss it this evening. No. It was going, he was going to give it to E., and that was that.

I don't know what happened with the letter today, as Boo didn't offer any specifics when I asked.

I guess part of me should be glad for the fact that he made a decision and held to it. But at what cost now and later?

1 comment:

Niksmom said...

I wouldn't worry too much about the longer term effects; I think Boo will catch on as he grows. But it is a sweet-sad vignette. :(