26/366 Gotta love summer. This week was all about Independence Day at the Calistoga County Fair. Z had a very nice time. He continues to try out things that were not so long ago out of his comfort zone, which is huge for him. I tried bribing and bullying him into trying out the yo-yo (the swings that turn above the heads of passersby) but they were still a step beyond what he is willing to try. Which is fine, he went on a number of rides that I thought were much "scarier," but a mom is free to be greedy when it comes to milestones right?
On the first ride Z went on he met a boy roughly his own age whom was there with his parents. He wanted someone to go on the rides with and invited Z to hang out with him. I told Z it was fine and started to follow the boy to the attraction he was headed to, the ride that is a jungle of foam and bridges ending in a slide, but Z zipped ahead of him and ran through the entire thing almost before the boy had even entered. This continued in the fun house and every other thing the boy asked Z to join him on. The boy was patient and continued to go on things with Z, despite the fact that Z wasn't actually doing any of it with him. Eventually we broke away to do other things, but I wish I had realized there were a couple of rides that required groups of two because of course Z ended up wanting to go on them. He had the good idea of approaching kids his age whom had wristbands to ask them if they wanted to go on any of the rides with him, but none of them did.
I wanted to just stand back and let the scene play out because I can't hover over Z his entire life but he was getting more and more wild, spinning, flapping, jumping, and making loud noises in an attempt to get the boys to laugh. I think Z could sense he was being rejected, and when he feels like he isn't being accepted he starts to get more frantic, and "spin" in an attempt to get his audience back. When Miguel came back from the bathroom I sent him over to discreetly tell Z to cool it a little. Z replied, "They think I'm funny." Miguel told him that they weren't laughing with him, and Z did tone it down a little but it's just not in his nature to just stand there and try to look cool. Z could care less about looking cool.
The encounter was a good reminder of how lucky we are to have found the school Z is currently in. Z would be eaten alive at most junior high schools but at the school he's at he's free to (mostly) be himself. He's not the weird kid, and most of the time when the kids are laughing at him it's because they genuinely think he's funny. I think life would be a lot different (and more difficult) if we hadn't been welcomed into his school community.