My Kid, The Loner

My son has a very active imagination. Alone, he can play with Lego or action figures for hours and make up several new rich and layered stories. He doesn’t get lonely. Socializing with kids during class-time at school and playing with his sister for an hour after school is usually enough for him. After school, he is often exhausted and needs immediate alone time for at least 20 minutes or he gets really cranky.

His mind is really amazing. The way he thinks is so complex, old-soul, future-forward type of thinking. He has such a creative and complex story-line when he plays with toys and such a grown-up way of talking. He’s a rule follower and very serious about right and wrong. But he also loves to make us laugh with his”what-if” scenarios or made-up-on-the-spot jokes. I can see a million possible jobs in his future but the top ones are: writer, graphic designer, police officer or architect. When I ask him what he wants to be when he grows up, he says, “How can I know that? I’m just a kid and so many things can happen before then to change my mind”.

Pouring over a book, building complex Lego vehicles of his own design, or discussing world issues is where Hunter feels comfortable. He watches the news with me every night at 6 pm, curled against my side. As for kids his age? He connects with very few. How does he describe kids his age? “Very loud and chaotic”. Is my son an alien??

He isn’t an alien. He is one of those rare kids that knows his social limits. He is an intelligent boy that is also extremely introverted. He is highly sensitive to emotions, sounds, and light. He is great at telling you specific facts he knows or spelling words he just learned, but terrible at day-to-day things such as putting on his jacket without freaking out or unpacking his backpack without having a breakdown. I believe he must be a hard kid to teach at school. He is always distracted by a book that is nearby or a poster to read. His mind wanders into his own secret private world inside his brain and he misses things you say. I think his teacher is the most amazing, patient, incredible person in the world. His teacher even asked if he gets lonely, since he often is seen playing alone and won’t ask kids to play- they have to ask him. He insists that he is never lonely and will leave games if they get too rowdy. So, back to limits- he knows that he is worn out after school and needs his alone time. He also knows that he can only handle kids his age for the school day, so he almost never asks for play-dates or after school activities.

So, I wasn’t surprised when he didn’t want a birthday party this year. He said that parties are too loud and there are too many people involved. I asked if he wants a play-date instead, and he said, “And entertain another kid for a whole bunch of hours?” but he did consider it before shutting that down.  Instead, he just wants to go to Boston Pizza with the extended family and call it a day. My soon to be 7 year old wants to go out for dinner for his birthday with family 16 years and above. He will go out with his dad during the day and have supper at night and be happy. Now that’s knowing your limits. I think a large part of it is that all of our weekends have been pretty packed and not very quiet. Plus, we just moved to this area and he doesn’t want to invite old friends and realize how much he misses them, but doesn’t feel settled enough to invite new friends. Maybe next year he will feel differently.

That is my son right now! Bright, happy, funny, and willing to put boundaries where he needs them. I’m one proud mama.

Do you have a kid like this? 

Has your kid ever passed on a birthday party?


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