As we were driving to meet up with our homeschool group for P.E., he said something I will never forget. He told me in a very matter-of-fact tone, "I know why I don't have any friends anymore. It's because I'm weird. I do stuff other people don't do." Unless you've experienced this, you can't imagine how heart-breaking it is to hear your child say something like this. It made me even more determined to help him find his way. I told him, "You're not weird. Everybody's different." I didn't know what else to say and even that didn't seem to help much. It's hard when you're dealing with a kid who's really smart. He knows something's not right.
He does have a couple of friends, but it's true that as he's gotten older, fewer kids click with him. They've moved on and he's kind of stuck spinning his tires. He's always played well with younger kids and fortunately as homeschoolers, we have the advantage of a mixed group of kids. He's not sitting in a classroom surrounded by kids who are chronologically his age, but emotionally years ahead of him. I'm not sure "emotionally" is the right word, but mentally doesn't really fit because he's so smart. He's ahead in his schoolwork and he's always tested above grade level. So "mental" isn't really what I'm looking for. "Emotionally" will have to do. When he's playing with younger kids, though, he's as happy as can be. Since he's not rough or mean, none of the moms have a problem with him hanging with the little ones. Actually, they talk about how good he is with the little kids. So for now, I'll just make more of an effort to get him together with the kids he *does* click with so he doesn't feel so left out. And we'll keep working on the program.