When it comes to friendships, Buzzbee is often quite hesitant to get close enough to other children to make ‘real’ friends. He will make acquaintances and sometimes call a child, that he may play with once or twice, a friend, but he has not allowed himself to get close to anyone since his BFF left school while they were still in reception – he has been open about saying that he can’t make friends because they will always leave him and if he doesn’t make them, then he can’t be sad when they go.
However there is one little boy who is an exception to Buzzbee’s rule – Pickle! (Buzzbee’s partner in crime at adoption camps and more recently fellow home-edder).
How can I describe their friendship? I think the best words are Unconditional and Accepting. If I were to describe them when they are together, I would have to say they are like: Manic Duracell Bunnies, who are guaranteed to have a huge fall out when they reach fever pitch or get over-competitive, but are best of friends again within a few minutes (I have to be honest their arguments tend to amuse me. They sound like an old married couple. It is SO funny).
While I was thinking about writing this #WASO post I decided to ask Buzzbee why he thought his friendship with Pickle was ‘safer’ than other friendships with children. His response was “Pickle is the greatest friend because he is REALLY funny (well sometimes). He is amazing and smart. He can be quite weird (in a funny way) and is really imaginative, like me, and loves to play spy games, tag, and hide and seek. He really likes Star Wars and Lego, like me. But most of all, he likes me for me and I like him for him, he doesn’t try to change me. He tries to control me (and I try to control him) but he doesn’t ever try to change me”.
As well as trying to develop meaningful relationships with their peers, both Waxy and Buzz are continuing to experience ‘firsts’ and this week it was Buzzbee’s turn when he got to have his first sleepover with a friend (in this case, Pickle) in Nanny and Grandad’s new caravan at a Haven campsite (in terms of the caravan it was a first for all of us, as mum and dad have only just brought it), and what an experience it was for them (and Pickle’s mum and I).
They ‘persuaded’ (or should that be ‘hounded’ us) into submission over sharing a bedroom and okay bedtime was REALLY late but they weren’t really causing any trouble. They were just chatting away to each other, looking out of the window ‘watching for a storm’, reading books and telling stories, and they did eventually go to sleep at 10.45pm. And a 5am wakeup call was probably not what any of us were banking on, but again the boys were simply making every second together count and enjoying each other’s company.
Both Buzzbee and Beeswax had their first experience of bodyboarding in the sea down at the beach and Pickle got to experience a first of his own – waterwalking. And, after a minor blip, he and Buzzbee took full advantage of the opportunity to bump into each other without hurting each other (I really think this fantastic activity should be included in the boys’ post adoption support plan for at least once a week and daily during school holidays).
All three boys took full advantage of all the swimming pools and slides, and somehow Pickle and Buzzbee even managed to draw Beeswax into their imaginative, aquatic games and adventures (Waxy claimed he was only doing it to stop them bothering him, but secretly I think he enjoyed letting loose).
I could go on forever about their antics or the ins and outs of their relationship and our theories on why it is so successful, but really in the scheme of things the ‘whys and wherefores’ are not important, what is important is that, while Buzzbee and Pickle’s friendship continues to grow, I have to believe that there is hope that Buzzbee will gradually find the confidence to overcome his fear of loss and rejection, and reach out the hand of friendship to other children and allow himself to accept their friendship as wholly as he has with Pickle.