I heard two of the best words yesterday: "My friends."
These words are always great. They hold the connotation of support and happiness and warmth and good dinners and shopping trips and playing games and just plain having fun. They can hold happy memories of climbing trees or whispering about boys or working on murals or running down the beach in your bare feet. Birthday parties, riding your bikes, talking and talking and talking on the phone. Or nowadays, texting and texting.
But the reason these two words were so particularly great yesterday was because they were uttered by my son.
My son who has been in high school for four weeks after homeschooling for six years. My son who has not shared lunch, even once, with another student (by his own choice). My son who needs to "sniff" things out ad nauseum until he's ready to commit to another human being. My son who has a great group of homeschooled friends but who had incredible trauma the last time he set foot in public school.
Once those two words had entered his vocabulary, shortly after picking him up at school yesterday, they continued to follow him throughout the evening and into this morning. It started with his talking to me about how he couldn't get his 3'X4' project over to the car because his "friends" kept trying to knock it out of his hands - but in a good way. Then his "friend," K ran up to him and said,"Badger," which I guess is some private joke they have going, because C cracked up. Then he got in the car and told me about the "friend" who'd asked him to join his D&D group, and that he'd met another member of the group. And then this morning he talked about his friend "S," who was in three classes with C and is really small but has a loud voice and is just a riot. All of a sudden, friends are sprinkling his universe.
C buzzed about all night. He used a funny voice, the way some teens do when they're playing around with a new identity. It's just a silly voice - he's not changing from who he is. He got kudos for a presentation he made in class - the kids all laughed at the right places. A couple told him afterwards he was "awesome."
And I can now breathe a sigh of relief. C has something else to hold him at school other than the hours and hours he's been putting into homework. Something other than grades will hold him there.
He's getting friends.