Every afternoon, Ethan and I walk our nanny, Jeanette, to the gate.  It’s become a sort of ritual of ours.  I get home and while Jeanette changes and gets ready to leave, I take off my heels and my work clothes and change into something comfy and we walk Jeanette to the gate, wave goodbye to her and then walk around the complex doing whatever Ethan wants to do.  This varies from day to day – from saying hello to the baby tree, a tree shorter than Ethan (the things you do for your children!!) to sitting on the wooden bench and watching the planes, this is “our time” and I thoroughly enjoy it every.single.day 🙂

Of course, living in a complex means that you share a lot of the complex areas with the other people in your complex and so we often see other kids running around In the afternoons.  There’s only one girl close to Ethan’s age, and for some reason, she scares him.  It could be because of the fact that she’s very ‘touchy feely” but most times that Ethan sees her, he runs in the other direction!  Now the boys in the complex are another story…Ethan is absolutely fascinated by them!!  Of course, they’re all older than him (ranging from 3 – 8 years old I’d say) but between the races they have, the ball games they play and the skateboards they ride, they have Ethan in awe.

As Ethan grows older, he’s starting to enjoy the company of other children more and more.  This, of course, comes as no surprise to me because he’s home alone with the nanny all day so has limited interaction with anybody else actually.  Even less surprising to me is the fact that he’s trying more and more to join in the fun with the boys in the complex and they are totally ignoring him.  I mean, let’s face it – what kid wants to play with a kid younger than them who can’t even talk?!

Yesterday afternoon, while on our usual “ritual walk”, two kids walked up to Ethan and the one kid asked if Ethan wanted to hold his hand and play with him.  Of course, Ethan happily obliged and the look on his face was priceless as he walked hand in hand with the “big boy”.  This didn’t last long – in fact, I don’t even think it was more than five steps on when Ethan tripped on a stone in the pathway and fell flat on his tummy with his arms outstretched. I tried (as I usually do when he has a little fall) to brush it off and help him back up without making too much of a fuss of it, but my little guy burst into tears and barely lifted his head up as his newfound friends ran off.  I felt so sorry for him, but when I picked him up and he cried into my shoulder, my heart really broke.  It wasn’t any old cry, it really felt like he was crying out of embarrassment more than pain.  He sobbed with his head pressed into my shoulder and even after he stopped crying, he wouldn’t lift his head.  It took lots of coaxing from both myself and Jeanette to get him to pick his head up and smile again.  My poor boy :-(.

I know that there’ll be lots more situations in his life where he’s embarrassed and I know that my heart will break many more times.  I also know that this is all part of growing up but one thing I was reminded of yesterday is that it takes a big heart to be a mum!!

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