My children's unique personalities are especially evident when I sit back and observe them in social settings. Our friend Allie's 7th birthday party at a local skating rink Friday afternoon was no exception.
K got her skates with lightening speed and joined the other 1st grade girls in the center of the rink. With great glee my little social butterfly fluttered about. Ever the competitor, she would inform me with each lap that she STILL hadn't fallen once. She was uninterested in how she was performing compared to others--only that she could top her personal best.
R, my other uber social competitor, spent his time playing chase with his buddies and waiting for the expected relay race at the conclusion of the party. (It was a grave disappointment that the race didn't happen--he was consoled only by the news that two friends were riding home in our car.)
P's approach to social situations is entirely different. Ever the observant, investigative wanderer he was in a new location every 10 minutes. You can literally almost see the wheels spinning in his head as he takes in every sight and sound as if he were a sponge.
Shortly after we had finished eating cake, I realized I hadn't spotted P in 5-10 minutes. Because he was one of only about 5 children wearing neon orange skates, I quickly scanned the black light enhanced rink for those glowing boots. Having no luck, I looked a little closer. Still no P.
I started my walk from the far side of the oval where the food had been set up, past the restrooms and towards the opposite end of the oval, which happens to be lined by video games. I wasn't worried until I got to the games and there was still no sign of him.
Perplexed, I started to turn back and conduct a more thorough search of the restrooms. That's when I saw my young friend Jack's face. Something about his expression signaled that he knew something. I followed his gaze from my face to the floor. That's when I saw P's skates, attached to P's khakis. I was momentarily alarmed by their stillness. But as I bent down, shouted his name and opened the flap (somewhat simultaneously) my fears were allayed by this little face.
"What are you doing in there?" I asked, still struggling to balance my relief, my alarm and my amusement.
"I just wanted to see what the inside looked like."
Then like any modern day, iphone bearing, blogger Mama would do, I paused my lecture long enough to snap a photo for posterity, blog fodder and as a visual aid for retelling this story countless times.
"Let's not try that again," I concluded as I helped him up, explaining that he could have gotten hurt or stuck.
Still appearing bewildered by why this was a big deal, P looked back at me with those big brown eyes and said, "Oh no, Mom. I couldn't get stuck. I can't even fit all the way in. I tried."
My curious, experimental bright boy definitely keeps things interesting. I have chest pain thinking about where these characteristics made lead us throughout childhood and adolescence. One thing is certain, it promises to be an amusing adventure.