One of the things that I had a hard time dealing with when we were deciding whether to take Emily out of school was the fact she was an only child and I felt that by taking her out of school we were condemning her to a lonely life without all those kids in school to play with.
As it turns out Emily was very lonely at school even with all those kids to play with and eventually that concept lost any validity. However over the last 14 months there have been days when the worry about her being lonely is overwhelming.
Most of the time I think we have a good balance of being with friends and having the down time that I know she needs,but sometimes the balance is off.
I think the nicer weather has been a trigger for her feeling left out and lonely.Her best friend A lives at the other end of the village and on the nights she is staying with her mum (parents split up and she stays 4 nights with mum) she has children who live near her and they spend time playing on the allotments, this happens spontaneously and last week Emily expressed a wish that she had friends nearby to play with in that way.Now the rational side of me accepted the fact that quite naturally she was feeling a little lonely and that I had not been as proactive in arranging play dates etc and that we could work on ways to ensure she see's more friends. Then within a short space of time (after watching her swinging on her own in the garden looking,in my opinion,sad) the totally irrational side took over and blew it up out of all proportion,all the old fears came back and I felt so responsible for her sadness.
It took me a while but I let the irrational thinking go and looked at it for what it was without projecting all my own fears and assumptions.Emily does like company but she also needs her own space and it was simply that the balance was off and thankfully this week we had things planned that have allowed me to see a more balanced view.
Monday she had a play date,Tuesday she was with her cousin,then had a sleepover with E ,today was Home ed and she made some new connections with a couple of the boys there.A friend they normally play with wasn't there and they were more involved with the other children and Emily got to play with them both at group and later when we went back to my friends house for a cuppa, so a stronger connection and the possibility they would come to play means another couple of playmates in the future.Tomorrow she will have 3 hours playing with two other home ed friends,some weeks they are great mates some not so great but generally a good experience for her.Friday best friend A will be here for tea.Things don't just happen, her friends don't just live up the street and it takes work to plan things,her group of friends has taken time to evolve but is still growing.I just let things slide a little in the planning dept and had a wobbly few days because of it.