O has always been a social little superhero, she easily makes friends. No matter where we are or where we go, she will be the one that always says "I made a new friend." She quite often won't know their name but she will happily play with them. O doesn't always understand social situations so keeping a good circle of friends has always been the tricky part for her.
L on the other hand has always struggled to make and keep a good group of friends. It is only in the last 16 months since L has begun to understand others emotions that he has really leapt forward in leaps and bounds on the friendship front.
So here is a letter to the friends of my little superheroes.
Please don't ever change. You all bring so much joy to my little superheroes, they are both so happy to talk about their friends at school and at OSHC.
You just get them. You understand that they are different, you've embraced their unique differences and yet you overlook their differences and only see what you have in common with each other.
I hope that you know just how much your friendship really means to both O and L. Even though they don't always express their gratitude to you, they really do love spending time with you. I can see this when they scan the classroom, the playground, the OSHC hall for you and their faces light up when they see you.
When you play together, my little superheroes personalities shine through, their anxiety lessens, they can be themselves and I am able to get a better look at who they are and who they will be in the future.
When L is having a rough day, you understand and don't push him. You let L come to you when he is ready and there is no judgement.
When O is struggling with the noise around her, you remind each other to lower your voices and
when she is struggling with her anxiety, you are there for her, always reassuring her that everything is going to be okay.
Each of you have so many different qualities and you are all delightful little humans.
And when you have questions about my little superheroes behaviour, you are kind towards them and it is obvious that you really want to know the answers so that you can understand them. Then when you find out the answers, you take it in your stride and take the information on board.
Young H, you make me so happy about how protective you are of L. When L hurt his thumb a few weekends ago and Daddy superhero joked about cutting L's thumb off, you put a protective arm around L and said "no he needs his thumb, he just needs a band-aid." H you show compassion beyond your 5 years.
And young R, you are such a character and you are just a gorgeous little boy. You understand L when he is having a rough morning and you just let him be. You let L crawl all over you and you never complain, or not out loud anyway! You let L give you a hug goodbye every time he is leaving, thank you!
L, you seem so mature beyond your 5 years. You've always looked out for my L at kindy and now at school. You are the one that reminds L that he needs to put on sunscreen and his hat because "remember no hat, no play L!" And then when my L didn't want to put his hat on, you sat under the verandah with him to keep him company so that he could look at what you were holding.
Little miss G, you see L for who he is and this makes me very happy. "But he looks like me, he's normal." Last year, L always wanted to make sure that you were okay when you were having a rough day. He used to become very worried about you and he misses seeing you every day. "Where my G?" he asks on a daily basis!
Little miss H, I am told by everyone, that you have been taking L under your wing at school and at OSHC to the point that O has been getting upset at home "but L won't play with me at OSHC, he just wants to play for H!" But O is also secretly pleased as it means that she can play with her friends!
Little miss P, did you know that L is keeping an eye for you at school? L tells me "I look for P and I make sure she okay!" You two may not have much to do with each other, but L remembers you!
Miss L, when O was having a very rough morning at school a few weeks ago, you really stepped up without being asked. I'm not sure if you realised just how much you helped O to calm down. O still talks about how much you helped her. Did you know that the play dates that you two have had these last couple of weeks are the first ones that she has had, that I haven't had to come and collect her just after they've started. You are also the first friend that O has felt comfortable to stay with at your house without me being there. That is a huge thing in regards to O's anxiety!
Miss E, you and O are so much alike and you both just get each other. You have so much in common and I truly think that is why you two get along so well. O is always concerned about you when she hears that you've had a rough day.
Miss C, I think O has found a mother hen to look after her and I love that. You were the one to remind everyone to keep their voices down when O was struggling with the noise level. Thank you for taking that information on board.
To G, G, T, G, G, M, A, A, A and S (O has lot's of friends whose names start with the letter G and the letter A!) O may not remember what school work she does each day but she is able to tell us who she played with or who kept her company or who she has helped when you've been having a rough day. She values each and every one of you.
Master W, you are the only male friend that O constantly talks about. She loves playing games with you because she understands the rules! Thank you for accepting who she is and making her feel welcome at school when she first started in 2015. You don't know how much you assisted O to settle into the new school environment! You were honestly a huge help!
The fact is, you all probably have no idea just how much both O and L will need your friendships in the coming years. Right now being friends is relatively easy. You all have your ups and downs, but staying friends is relatively stress free. As you enter upper primary and high school, friendships can become stronger but they can, at times, also become harder to maintain.
As you become older, peer pressure begins to come into play more and some of my little superheroes mannerisms that are okay to you now, may begin to cause embarrassment. Other children may make fun of my little superheroes mannerisms and at some stage you may need to chose whether you want to stand by O and L or bow to the peer pressure from others.
I can't make promises for what will happen in the future but what I can promise is that you will always be the ones that O and L will remember and seek out. Whenever there are new faces around them, you are the ones that O and L feel comfortable with. O and L will always have your back and they will stand up for you when you need someone to stand up for you.
You all show compassion and a level of maturity that is beyond your young years. I hope that you all keep thinking long and hard about what it means to be kind. I hope that you all keep choosing to do the right thing especially when the feelings of other children are at stake. I hope that you all keep being yourselves because you really are all beautiful children. You all have very kind hearts.
I know that I have doubted my parenting skills at times and I am sure that at some stage your own parents have probably doubted their own skills too. But your Mums and Dads are doing a wonderful job at raising compassionate kind thoughtful children.
My little superheroes friends, thank you for being you.