Yesterday evening I took my nine year old son to the local skating rink. While there, he spent much time playing in the play zone and not much time skating. I observed a great many things during our evening out, some of which I am proud and some I am not.
The greatest thing I learned while watching my son play is that he is finally becoming more confident and aware of himself. He found playmates easily and, though he broke a couple of rules while playing with them, he exhibited knowledge of the give and take of friendship. He showed the ability to compromise in regards to imaginary play and games of various sorts. I am proud of him for this. As an only child for his first seven and a half years, he can be a bit bull headed and selfish, much like his mother.
I also learned that my son is still quite impressionable. When the other boys were throwing play balls and jumping off the top of the slide, he joined in. This concerns me a bit, as it might foreshadow how he reacts to more worrisome peer pressure in the future. However, once my son was aware that I was watching and he was in the wrong, the behavior ceased. Not only that, the other boys followed my son out of the area and back on the skating floor. Might this indicate future leadership skills? Perhaps. I suppose we'll have to wait and see.
Though my son didn't always behave in a pleasing manner last night, he made me proud. I'm beginning to catch a glimpse of the man he might become. Childhood can certainly be overwhelming at times, for both parents and youth. But, it is a time worth cherishing through all the ups and downs because, like a child on skates, it will pass in a wobbly blur.