I had never met a child like Zachary.  Certainly, I know there are other bright, sensitive boys out there whose cognitive abilities outstrip their social skills.  Yes, I know that mine is not the only little boy who likes pink, sparkles, and all things beautiful.  Of course, I have heard that there are other children who dislike Band Aids.

            But I had never met one.  The children we knew in London were nothing like him, although his little friend down the street was surely as intelligent and eccentric as he is.  I was the only other Highly Sensitive Person who I knew. 

            And then we met him.  A few months older, a good head taller, Oliver nonetheless seems to be Zachary’s perfect match.  They each march to their own flutist, but they speak each other’s language.

            This little boy, he is probably even smarter than Zachary (although I imagine my in-laws would dispute such an outlandish claim), and social situations seem even more overwhelming for him.  He talks less than Zachary, but then so do most people.  He thinks inside while Zachary shares every last thought – with me.  But, playing together, they have no hesitation, no fear.  There is simply comfort.

            Zachary is playing well with all his new school friends, and they chat away with ease.  He is suddenly interested in “sports,” although he has no idea what those are, because a classmate talks about his adventures in soccer and baseball.  Dropping him at school, I watch Zach settle into conversation with a little girl who may be the only child I have ever met who speaks as much as he does.  Coming home for a playdate, he and another child giggle in the backseat, telling each other jokes that I don’t quite understand.  And, as always, he is watching them for cues: what is normal, what is appropriate, who am I supposed to try to be?

            But, with Oliver, there is comfort I have never seen.  The sense of being in the presence of a kindred spirit.  They work on different wavelengths, but together they create music.  Zachary never seems to be trying with Oliver, and playing with him creates no stress.  They just do it their way, coming together and moving apart through some understanding they have never needed to discuss.

             As their younger brothers play together, demonstrating the social ease that comes with second child-ness, as their extroverted mothers’ words spill out across each other, I watch these two boys.  They are released from their internal world and the burden of their own perceptions.  And, together, they are just two little boys playing with pool noodles.

14 responses to “Another

  1. It sounds like, for Zachary, this move may be a wonderful thing for him. Allowing him the opportunity to not only work on his social skills, but to meet another child like himself. Hopefully this is a friendship that will continue for years.

  2. That is so great that Zachary & Oliver have found one another! Wouldn’t we all opt for quality over quantity when it comes to friendship/s?

    C has the advantage of having a twin brother— who mostly likes hanging out & playing with him (when he’s not bickering or tussling with him) but I hope he finds an Oliver as well someday.

  3. wow. sounds like a great friendship is forming with the whole family

  4. and why are we all getting quilty little things by our comments? interesting

  5. That’s so nice for him.

    (I like the little quilty things – pretty.)

  6. How great that you ended up in just the right place for Zachary to find another soul like his. The best kind of luck.

  7. Kindred spirits, indeed.

  8. That is SUCH an amazing thing. We have yet to find that kid. I can only hope he’s out there somewhere. Say, um…is Georgia too far for a playdate?

  9. That is so wonderful. I hope that my boys each find such a friend. What a dream!

  10. I wish you could meet my little boy. The similarities sound uncanny.

  11. What a joy that must be to watch. Makes it worth travelling to the other side of the world to find someone with whom Zachary is completely at home.

  12. I’m so glad Zach has found a comfortable friend. That is a wonderful gift for both of the kids, I suspect.

  13. Beautiful, Emily. I still ache for that for my daughter. I sometimes think she must have wanted to be a twin and now she’s on the outside she simply cannot find that other she was meant to have.

  14. Oh, I’m so glad Zach found his Oliver. How rare it is to find your other half, even as a child.