Saturday, May 26, 2007

Frosty Boy

On Thursday Tim came home from school with a request. He wanted to go to Frosty Boy on his bike, other kids were meeting there at 4:30.
Timmy is 12 years old, in the sixth grade and has always been very aware, yet reluctant, socially. He started Middle School this year and has been thrown in with a whole new lot of kids. I knew just about every child and family from his grade in Elementary School, but now there are 3 other schools combined in. I asked Tim what kids, he said names but none I had ever heard of. Frosty Boy can be accessed from our house via bike trail, but at the end you have to cross a road that is marked but no light. He has never asked to do anything quite like this before. I both did and didn't want him to go. We struck a deal, partly influenced by Jeffrey voicing his opinion about only Tim getting ice cream. Tim would ride over by himself, with Jeff and I would leave a while later, and when we got there we would pretend not to know him.
It started out as planned but when Jeff and I got to the road crossing, there was Tim, still waiting for a break in the heavy traffic. Across the road sat a group of boys eating their ice cream. I got us across while acting as if we were just a random group of cyclists. The boys greeted Tim and he got in line to order his slushie. Jeff and I stood behind him, next in line. The boys sat on a brick wall while Jeff and I went to a picnic table and joined a mom named Robin and her son Spencer, who we know from scouting. Spencer used to go to school with Tim but last year he started at a private school. Tim only barely acknowledged Spencer's friendly greeting. I picked a spot where I could try to watch the action through my dark sunglasses. Robin noted that there was some bad language being used over there. The boys started getting kind of rowdy, chasing each other and throwing ice cream. Timmy didn't participate in that but struck a cool pose and laughed along. When we finished, I tried to motion to Tim that it was time to go but he showed no signs of leaving. So we rode up the trail a little further and then back. At the crossing I caught Tim's eye and gestured towards the trial, trying to communicate that he should leave soon. Then we rode home and waited for Tim. And waited. Listened to sirens. Eventually, I got in my car and drove over to Frosty Boy. No kids. Drove home. No Tim. Waited. Finally, he came home. They had all decided to ride bikes around the village. I explained to Tim that he only had permission to get ice cream nothing else. He will not be doing this again in the near future. He said he understood, but also I could see in his eyes the happy excitement of having been included and having fun.
I am so not ready for this!!! But here we go.


MomForThree said...

And people wonder why some people give cell phones to 12 year olds. I'm with you about being torn. My neighbor usually goes with her kids around the neighborhood and mine tag along. She is so paranoid I bet she will keep doing that until they are old enough to drive.

Aunt Chris said...

I used to test the boundaries when I was a kid. But if he had a cell phone he could have told the kids that he had to check if he was needed at home and tell where he was going. Parents need to know where their kids are and a bike path is available near your home- I don't like bikes on major streets. Tim is a great kid.
Aunt Chris