Jack was off school today so he spent the day with Helen. They planned to do all the usual things, lunch at McDonalds and then off to the soft play area. Early in the morning Helen received word that many of the children from Jack's school were going to the same soft play area but in the morning rather than the afternoon. This presented a slight problem for Helen, she had other things planned for the morning. None of them were set in concrete so she put it to Jack, would he like to go to the play place in the morning with the kids from school, or in the afternoon as usual.
Jack's first condition was that he wanted to go when Phoebe was going, so Helen go in touch with Phoebe's parents and discovered that Phoebe wasn't going this time. So it was put to Jack again, go with those from School, or potentially on his own. Jack's response was truly heartbreaking.
I don't want to go with the kids from school. None of them will want to play with me.
Knowing that Phoebe now wasn't going and that Scott was ill Jack was more than likely to be on his own. He still preferred to go in the afternoon in anticipation that he would be spending the time playing by himself anyway. Visions of Jack at school playing by himself all day shot through Helen's mind. She was going to have to speak to Mrs. Smith. What would she even say? Jack has occasionally mentioned when a regular playmate would start favoring another over him but usually someone else came along shortly after. It's never really occurred to us how this might have made him feel. We hear more from Jack about what he eats and with whom he plays than what he actually do at school, or how he feels about it. After a bit of gentle probing Helen got a little more information. By the end of the conversation Jack was sobbing inconsolably.
Each of the children at Jack's school have a best friend. Amberleigh has Sophie, Mia has Alfie and so on. Jack doesn't have a best friend. For a while he had Izzy but she's not able to go anymore. He has no trouble getting the kids to play with him but it's always him and them. If he decides to play with something else, the decision is his alone. He's aware of this and it makes him very sad. The bottom line is our son feels alone in parts of his world and there's not a lot that we can do about it. Sadly it will remain this way until a best friend appears.
This afternoon Jack went to the play place and played with Tom and little sister Amy. Jack and Tom get along well and aside from a hitting incident, Jack had a really great time and didn't want to come home.