Thursday, July 31, 2008

The New Friend

Lately, Patrick has been playing with a boy I'll call Isaac, who lives somewhere in our neighborhood. He met Isaac through another friend who lives two doors down. They were all playing outside one evening in this other friend's yard, Isaac rode by on his bike, and then he stopped to play. He stops by here almost every day now looking for Patrick. He's a very polite boy, and seems like he probably comes from a good family (ie his parents probably aren't crackies or anything). Still, I am uncomfortable with this friendship.

Isaac is ten. Patrick is five.

I tell myself that there's no reason to be alarmed; we live in the same neighborhood, and boys beyond a certain age (and below another certain age) are all interested in basically the same things: video games and outdoor stuff. Isaac comes over, the two of them troop upstairs, and play video games together, or splash around in the hot tub together. I never hear any fighting, and it doesn't seem that he's using Patrick for his stuff, really, any more than any other kid likes to play with another kid's stuff (I particularly worry about this with the hot tub - I don't want kids coming here just so they can use the 'pool'). I checked with Josie on this, since she's actually been in the hot tub with the two of them, and she said that they seem to get on like gangbusters. I also tell myself that Josie is 9, and I expect her to play nicely with Patrick, and indeed the two of them do pretty well together, considering that they have entirely different interests. Josie plays with Patrick's friend Audrey up the street, who is 6, which is a three year difference, and she's also been known to play with her 3yo sister, although that's more of Josie liking to be The Mommy and take care of people.

Still, I'm conflicted. There's a big difference between 5 and 10, and I can't help being nervous. DH says that it's probably a summer thing, and that he's OK with it because Isaac has been so polite, to the point of calling DH 'sir' in conversation. Patrick, of course, loves the attention of an older boy, and would play video games with Methuselah, if he showed up.

Any thoughts? Did any of you have much older friends?

7 comments:

Kristin.... said...

Hmmmm. I haven't had to deal with that, yet (and seeing as we have no neighbors with kids, probably won't). I guess as long as they're playing nicely they're fine. And I bet it's a summer thing too. As long as Isaac is nice to Patrick once Patrick starts school, then it's probably good.

d e v a n said...

I can see why you'd feel a little strange about it. There are 2 little boys in our neigborhood who are 10 years old and like to play with d, who is only 3. It makes me feel weird. What could a 3 yo and a 10 yo have in common?
We are always there though, so it's not that big of a deal I guess.

Swistle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Swistle said...

I had a 4-years-older-than-me friend when I was about 12, although she was definitely the boss in the friendship. In fact, she was more like a mentor or something. Generally, though, I stuck to my own age group: even one grade behind seemed a lot younger.

Susiewearsthepants said...

mmmmm....Maybe kids don't look at age the way we adults do. As long as the older kid doesn't seem to be teaching your child any bad behavior, I would let them play. My daughter can play with boy and girls of any age. Sometimes it seems strange to me, other times I think she is just happy to have ANYONE to play with.

Erin said...

We have 9-year-old and a 12-year-old boys in our neighborhood who are always playing with my 2.5-year-old. But we know them well, and I know their parents. They live right across the street. They're just good kids who happen to be nice to littles. I do feel like I have to make more of an effort to "connect" with those kids, just so they know I'm around and supervising.

Creative Kerfuffle said...

when we 1st moved into our house the girl was in kindergarten and one of the kids next door was 4 yrs older and would come over to play all the time. i think it was because there are no other kids in our neighborhood. now that the girl is 11 and the neighborkid is a 15 she doesn't come over.