Last week a seven-year-old boy moved onto our street. This qualifies as big news around here because our street is comprised of approximately eight houses, and we haven’t had another similarly-aged child on our street in many, many years. We have never really had the experience of sending our children “out to play” with other kids in the neighborhood because, quite frankly, there haven’t been any.
But that all changed with the arrival of Alex. He lives two houses down, and he and Oscar have become fast friends, bonding over snacks, LEGO, and Tom and Jerry.
Alex’s arrival, though, has coincided also with a burgeoning and burning need for independence that Oscar has been recently expressing; and with Alex by his side, Oscar left our house yesterday and walked over to his friend’s house–moving down the street on his own, chatting with his friend, and having experiences outside our four walls. And while Oscar’s experience as a student and at school have provided similar opportunities, it’s just a little different when it’s in your own neighborhood.
I am sensing rather strongly that we are moving into a new phase with Oscar–no longer a little boy, but a boy–not just a boy, but a growing boy who is pushing past the comfort of his home to others’, ready to move on but still knowing that we’re only two doors down.