The first thing that I

The first thing that I am interested in sharing is about feeling left out. Cheery, huh? Is this an emotion? A feeling? I don?t know, but whatever it is, it came to my attention because of my kids going through it. I am sensitive to feeling left out as it is something that I have struggled with as a child, and it is something that I am still struggling with as an adult. And now seeing my children going through these same issues is both painful and instructive.
The first instance was with my seven year-old son. It was an early release day from school, meaning that the school bus dropped off a couple of hours early. This throws everyone and their schedules into a tizzy, of course. Also, we got about 10 inches of snow over about twenty four hours Monday through Tuesday. So much for the set up.
I wasn?t there; I was at work. But this is how I heard the story. My son and his two buddies from across the street were sledding on the little hill in front of our house after getting off the bus. Then Buddy A?s big brother yelled from across the street. –Come on, dad is going to take use the sledding hill. So Buddy A says to Buddy B Let?s go! What about me? Asks my son. –Not enough room for you, says Buddy A. Of course tears. So D. takes son to sliding hill. Turns out the other kids were dropped off and left by the dad with a cell phone in the car of the older brother. (12.) This D. finds out when she gets there. Older brother loses cell phone. Finds cell phone. Everyone is happy that there is an adult there. Everyone has a good time.
Second instance. Eleven year-old daughter. Classmate invites some other classmates, but not my daughter, to go downhill skiing. It is a tough widget. There are only like eleven girls in the class; it is a small school. Even though she doesn?t downhill ski, she was nonetheless bummed.
And me, at work. Several people in my department, including myself, are working on upgrading an intranet application that we use. One of the people is a consultant, who as a contractor, did the original application. She?ll be coming in on Fridays. She and the lead on the project worked together all day. I felt left out. I was working solving some other problems. I realized that I was looking for approval from them for what I was doing and wasn?t getting it. It felt a lot like exclusion.
But realized–hey, not my issue. Like with my son. The situation was driven by a harried father and his kid who has his own issues. And with my daughter, the whole thing was the skiing classmate?s ego mostly, which is nothing anyone else can do anything about.
So even though it was painful to see my children go through their exclusion experiences, it helped me put my feelings of exclusion in perspective, or at least realize that was what was dealing with and this made it easier to let it go.