I took a personality test once and I came up sanguine. Off the charts sanguine. Give me a group of friends where I can be the center of attention and I am in heaven. Par - TAY!
Hubby, however, is more meloncholy. He likes to hide in a cave, go to movies alone and have his solitude. He likes being alone.
Brother didn't get much from me. He got his dad's beautiful eyes, his nose, his love of sports, his frame, his hair, and even his fingernails. But when it comes to being alone, Brother would rather die a thousand painful deaths. He loves to be with his friends. Let me rephrase that...he lives to be with his friends. So you can imagine how being homeschooled affects his social life.
There are a few kids in our neighborhood that he has befriended, but each time he plays with them, I am bothered by the things I hear and see. So, I try to keep playtime with these kids limited to our front yard, where I can supervise. But I can't always supervise, and I'm feeling iffy about these kids, so most times I refuse his request. Which doesn't go over well with him.
I understand his feelings. When I don't get to be around other adults, I start to climb the walls. So I feel bad when I see him moping around here, aching for another kid to hang with. Someone other than his sister, who doesn't like to play soccer or baseball. Several times a day I catch him looking out the window or opening the door, straining to see what's going on down the street. In the afternoons this group of kids can be seen jumping on someone's trampoline or riding their bikes down the road. No one invites him.
This breaks my heart.
What can I do? I invite other homeschooled friends over every other week or so. He sees his church friends on Sunday. We meet friends at McDonald's. So, is once or twice a week enough for my little party boy? He would say "no". He would gladly spend all day, every day, just chillin' with his homies. I try to play soccer with him, and encourage him to trade playtime with Sister. You know, play paper dolls with her for a while and she can play soccer with you. But she's no Mia Hamm. The girl has zero athletic ability. And she doesn't like to be pushed or get dirty. He may as well play soccer with the tree out front.
Most times, he and Sister play great together. They put on shows, play with Brother's castle, dress up in their costumes and act out stories. But is it realistic for me to expect that to be enough for him? How do I find the balance that will still allow his family to be the biggest influence in his life while feed his need for peers? What's the answer?