I have this little boy, well he's almost a young man as he turns 13 in August I guess, that is just so incredible. He has always been totally unselfconscious and fiercely independent way beyond his chronological age.
And he's always been sooo cute!
He also used to be a great escape artist. One time when he was about 3 we lost him in a hotel where we were staying for an adoption reunion. Lots of people in the building knew him and sure enough, when he found his way down the pool, another family stopped him. He wasn't lost. He was on his way to the pool.
Another time at about 5 1/2 years old we lost him on the Disney cruise ship. One minute he was with us, the next minute he wasn't. The Disney folks are totally set up to find lost kids - every staff member on the ship carries a digital pager and words gets out fast that a kid is lost. Problem is, mine didn't think he was lost. When he realized he had gotten separated from us, he walked back to our stateroom. When he didn't find us there, he decided to go wait us out in the game room 8 floors away. We were panic-stricken. He wasn't worried in the least.
Now picture this. A church is having an outdoor evening service in the parking lot overlooking the lake. It's not a church we've ever been to before even though it's only about 200 yards from our house. We don't know anyone that's going to be there. They have a stage set up with a band that starts warming up about 30 minutes before the service is supposed to start. My almost 13 year old son hears it and asks if he can go. Alone. And after he washes his face and puts on a shirt, he heads over all by himself to check out the service and band, not knowing a soul.
He got home a few minutes ago. He met a boy named J who is also homeschooled and lives in the next town over, born the same month as him. He said the music was good, they gave him dinner, they played soccer, did some singing, and he had fun.
When you were almost 13 would you have walked into a group of strangers to hang out and make new friends? My kid does. And enjoys it. What wonderful confidence he has...