I wait in the car for Aiden to get out of school. I’m always itching for him to get out, wanting to rush over and pick him up. But Aiden made it quite clear on the first day of the first grade that getting picked up at the door was for Kindergarteners. I’m still not sure how I feel about my six-year old telling me he’s too old for me to meet him at the door, but Steve keeps telling me that I need to let him grow up and I guess this is part of that.
I smile as I see Aiden walk out of the school with a bunch of other kids, teachers at their side. I open my car door and walk to the front of the car so I can wave in his direction. Aiden sees me and starts bouncing over to the car in a way that only children can do. I smile as I slide back to the driver’s seat as Aiden gets in his booster seat in the back. That is another thing he likes to do by himself. I just watch in the rearview to make sure he buckles up correctly. He does.
“So how was school,” I ask as I start the car.
“Great! I made a new friend. His name is Gordy and he likes Transformers like me. We played together during recess.”
“That sounds nice.”
“He’s awesome. Can he come over and play sometime? And can I go over to his house? Gordy was telling me that sometimes his older brother has sleepovers where kids sleep at their friend’s houses. Did you know about that?”
“Yes, Aiden. I know about sleepovers.”
“So can I go on one?”
I spare a quick glance back at Aiden before turning my eyes back to the road. He looks so happy. “Well, Aiden that’s kind of a big step. Why don’t I talk to his parents and we’ll set up a few play dates and maybe later we can talk about a sleepover.”
“Okay,” Aiden says, satisfied enough with the answer. “Hey, Dad, do you know that Gordy likes to go swimming? I told him I took lessons last year and he said that he took the same one.”
I smile and nod before Aiden starts telling me even more about his friend. He talks the whole way home. I can’t help but be happy that Aiden has found a friend. I was starting to get worried when he never connected to anyone in Kindergarten. Steve told me Aiden was just a late bloomer when it came to other kids and, apparently, he was right. Again. I don’t know how one person can be right all of the time.
Aiden spends the rest of his day telling me how amazing Gordy is, and what Gordy likes to do and ‘did I know Gordy has a dog’. I am happy that Aiden made a new friend, but by the time, Steve gets home I’m so relieved I can send Aiden off with him so Steve can hear all about Gordy. I do feel a little guilty about that, but I can’t listen to it anymore. My head is starting to pound.
Steve and Aiden are only upstairs for about fifteen minutes. Not long enough. Thankfully, I hear Steve and Aiden go into the living room and turn the television on. But after only a few minutes, Steve comes into the kitchen where I’m cooking dinner.
“So I guess Aiden has a new friend,” Steve says as he walks into the kitchen.
“No,” I reply sarcastically. “What was your first clue?”
“So I guess you’ve heard.”
“Heard? I had to listen to him for the last three hours.”
Steve chuckles. “He is really excited. So what are we going to do about this?”
“Well, I have the phone number list of all of the parents. I can call Gordy’s mom and see if we can set up a play date. I just hope Gordy is as excited about Aiden as he is because otherwise Aiden will be very hurt.”
“Yeah, but I think he’ll be okay. Kids are resilient.”
Steve walks over and wraps an arm around my waist. “You hate that he’s growing up, don’t you?”
“Yes,” I sigh, not even bothering to hide from Steve. “But how can I hate that he’s so happy?”
“Parenthood is tough.”
“Tell me about it.”
“Dad,” Aiden calls from the living room. “I forgot to tell you about Gordy’s dog.”
Steve smiles as he lets me go and starts to walk back into the living room. “You should really call those parents. Because I don’t think Aiden is going to wait much longer.”
I laugh. It’s true. Aiden isn’t much for patience. I would have to call Gordy’s parents tonight. I just hoped Aiden had found someone who cared as much about him as we did. I knew I was asking a lot from a six-year old, but my Aiden only deserved the best.
And that’s Part 28! Next week we will meet Gordy! See you then.