The other night was Sebastian's first Beaver Scout meeting. Sort of.
It was a Halloween party so everyone was supposed to come in costume. the problem is he doesn't know any of these boys. They don't go to his school. And meeting people for the first time is hard enough. It is even harder when they are dressed up in costumes.
I went with a plan to stay with him throughout the evening just to make sure he would be ok. He was very brave and told me before we got there that I didn't have to stay.
Once we arrived his story changed. I imagine that in his mind, making new friends isn't all that difficult. You find out each other's names and then you just start talking.
I also imagine that the reality of just how extremely difficult it is to connect with people, even children, set in once he walked into the room of complete strangers. As an adult I find making new friends extremely difficult. Adults have agendas. Adults lie. Adults have secrets. Adults don't make good friends.
Sebastian clung to my leg and I started to feel myself clinging to him as I feared for his self confidence. But I knew I had to let him go. More than that, this mother bird knew she had to give him a good firm push out of the nest.
Our ray of hope arrived when a boy who lives not far from us turned up. They play well together although they are not the best of friends but at least he knew someone. I took this as my opportunity to cut and run.
I said goodbye to Seb and told him he would have fun. He looked a bit dubious but trusted me enough to say ok.
When I returned an hour later, he ran up to me and told me that the time had gone really fast. He was excited to tell me everything they had done. He couldn't remember anyone's name and I doubt he was able to make any friends but he is willing to give it another go next week.