The mother of all myths regarding children who do not attend school is that they will be socially backward. Deprived of the opportunity to spend 7 hours every day in a room with 25-30 other children who are exactly the same age, how will they learn to socialize? (Because as we all know, the only people we ever socialize with throughout life are people exactly our same age…)
This is what happened at our apartment today: At 12:30 Maya’s friend Lexi came over to play for a few hours. (For the record, she’s a year older than Maya and traveled here on her own on a city bus. Hooray for fellow Free Rangers!) I left at 1pm for Pilates, leaving the girls at home with Ben. After my class I got a phone call from Ben’s friend Jonah, who was near our building and wondered if he could come over while his sister went to Met Chorus. Sure thing! So when I got home, Lexi had just left and Jonah had arrived. Maya, Ben & Jonah were deep into a session of Super Mario Bros. on the Wii.
At 6pm Jonah’s Mom called me saying her subway had stalled at 96th St. and would I mind walking over and picking up her daughter (the other Maya, or Maya Spo – for Sposito – as she is known at our house) from the Met, which is two blocks away. If parents are delayed at pick up time the Met charges them for it! So I walked over and brought Maya to our place. The boys disappeared to Ben’s room, the Mayas to Maya’s room. When their Mom arrived and they were getting ready to leave, my Maya’s friend Greta came over to spend the evening.
As I write this Maya, Greta and Ben are all in Maya’s room, making videos or doing skits or something. I hear lots of drama in funny voices through the wall.
So as you can see, my kids struggle socially and have so few opportunities to interact with other children. It’s sad, really, how isolated they are. It’s a wonder they can talk to people at all.
And tomorrow? Ben is invited to a birthday party with about 20 other kids ranging in age from 7 to 13, and Maya will be earning her Assistant Editor credit while learning Final Cut from a professional video editor.
I just don’t know how they’ll ever learn to function in the ‘real world’.