Too little to learn.
But I guess that's relative, and subjective.
He's 5. She's 2 and a half.
She has adored him from day one. And the adoration only grows.
When his family first moved next door, he wanted to show her all his toys and would talk your ear off to keep us outside just a few more minutes.
But over the past year. He's started school, grown up, etc.
I took my daughter for a quick swim at the community pool this morning.
I'd entirely forgotten there was a big party for the holiday.
Or did I even open that email?
We had a nice enough time. (With some usual for right-now shenanigans & loss of listening ears.)
Then we saw our neighbors.
Great, I thought. And it was great to see them.
Then it was time for us to go. And she wanted a hug.
She in her Swimmer & SafeTSeal Vest.
He in his goggles, showing off for kindergarten friends.
Of course he didn't want to hug her. Of course. I saw that. I understood.
I tried to get her to leave. She wouldn't. Cried his name. "I want a hug."
I broke down and even asked him myself.
He pretended not to hear me.
I scooped her up. All tears, screams and writhing. I grabbed our bag and made it to our truck as quickly as possible. I hugged her tightly. I told her boys don't always want to hug you when you want them to. I told her I loved her.
What else can you do?
At the back of my mind, I can't remember whether I asked her if she wanted to hug him goodbye. And if I did or didn't? So what, really.
Boys don't always want to hug you when you want them to. Or girls for that matter. Disappointment is out there. That was her lesson. We all relearn that regularly.
I know the day will come with bigger disappointments and heartaches. I cherish every moment that doesn't hold tears. I cherish that, for now, I can stop the tears with a hug, a kiss, and a few whispered words.
My lesson was this -
Kids start caring what other people think all too soon.
I knew he didn't want to hug her. And I knew exactly why.
Because it was embarrassing. Because the kids his age might laugh at him for being friends with a baby.
Then it hit me - a 5-year old cares what other people think? Those expectations are already upon us at such a young age? We can't just be who we want to be & be unafraid of judgment? .. even then?
And? --- I took it for granted.
I know the day will come all too soon that it's my daughter on the giving end of the disappointment. The day she'll decide whether or not to do something based on what her friends will think.
I will hate that day.
The end of innocence.
So till that day - I cherish each moment completely lacking in pretension. Announcements to full restaurants that you've pooped (be it in your pants or in the potty). Conspicuous playing with imaginary friends and talking to dolls or her fingers. Wearing Hello Kitty rainboots with everything. Making funny faces for the camera anytime mommy asks.
What else can you?