I was a highly sensitive child, and I think I’m starting to see that personality trait in Elena. However, because I was sensitive, I think (think?) I may be projecting my own anxieties on to her, so basically I’m a complete wreck any time we go to the playground.
What do I mean by this. This weekend, I observed the following:
(1) Whenever Elena has spent time with someone and then has to leave them, she tells me she is “sad because I miss x.” I heard this about Daddy, Mama, Grandma Patty, and Rachel this weekend. Like last night she woke up overnight and told me she missed Grandma Patty (who she spent the morning with).
(2) If a little kid is nice to her, they become her “best friend.” If they then ignore her – intentionally or otherwise – in the course of their play, she walks around like George Michael in Arrested Development.
This was a particular issue at the playground yesterday. Elena was the youngest child there. The other kids were older boys who were basically hanging upside down and hitting each other with light sabres the whole time. There was one girl who was not exclusive but who certainly had her own ideas about what everyone else was supposed to be doing (she was actually bossing older kids around). The other little girl who was Elena’s age seemed somewhat interested in Elena but was too taken with the other kids, who she all knew really well, to pay attention to her. Elena ended up being kind of sad basically the whole time we were there. I tried to get her to just jump in and play with the other kids but she didn’t really seem to get their game and didn’t want to join it.
I don’t think being sensitive is necessarily a bad thing, or that Elena MUST play whatever the other kids are playing or she will be a social pariah. In fact I think it will serve Elena well overall, but she will need to learn how to manage the potential for heartache (which I didn’t learn until something like sophomore year in college). There’s a book that I think I might read, a friend of mine read it years ago and found it to be helpful with respect to herself.