Living in a small town has it's obvious ups and downs.
The obvious ups are having a sense of familiarity and comfort in your surroundings. Witnessing the changes that occur firsthand at a glacial pace compared to a larger city and having time to absorb them. And, knowing people everywhere you go.
Now, this can be perceived as a "down" depending upon the circumstance (say...you run into your 4th grade crush while grocery shopping with a tantrum-having toddler and you threw on a ballcap, postponing your shower until a later time in the day) in which case, I say run for the hills.
But usually, seeing familiar faces is a good thing.
It's a good thing if you have car trouble.
Or if you need your cable hooked up in a new home at lightening speed.
It's a good thing if you need someone to feed your fish while you're gone.
Or pick up your kids after school because you got lost in Costco.
It's nice to know the kids in your children's classrooms year after year.
But sometimes, it isn't.
Like when they call for a playdate on Christmas Day.
Or when you have to get caller id to avoid being ambushed by their mother without an excuse for why your son doesn't want to have a sleepover with her son, at the last minute, the very last minute, like 8:30 on a Saturday. "He's already in his jammies and we've had a VERY busy weekend already. So, I don't think so". I've actually said that.
I make it sound as if I am an unflexible stick in the mud.
That is not the case.
I'm a "fly by the seat of my pants" kind of mom, when it's the right time. More importantly, the right people.
This child, the stalker, who rings my cell phone and home phone more often than telemarketers do, has been in Wyatt's class since kindergarten. He has been on his soccer team for 2 seasons. He's come a long way, behaviorally. And that's great, for him. But just because we've been unfortunate enough to be paired with him in all these places, does not make him an instant friend. And just because his own parents (called "rock star mom and dad" by another mom and myself due to their love of spandex, feathered hair and all things Van Halen) don't want to entertain him, does not mean that it is my son's job.
I've let him come over a few times in the last 3 years, mostly because I wanted to observe him. I wanted to check him out to see if he was okay. I also watched him over Spring Break last year to help his family out with a childcare crisis. So what? Wyatt can take him or leave him, and does not want to go over to his house. Therefore, reversing the invitation works well, because I can always send McRae in to mix things up if Wyatt isn't having fun. But I am sick of doing this. I can't do this forever, and I feel like I need to teach my kids that it's okay to let go if the "relationship" just isn't working out.
I want to tell this little boy "He just isn't that into you", but then again, I feel so bad.
I feel bad because his parents are such social morons, and sooner or later they are going to ruin him. I feel bad because even though he's a handful, deep down he's a nice kid. I feel bad because he craves attention so much, and it is apparent that his parents like to keep him going like an Energizer bunny so that he won't slow down and ask them to actually play with him.
Maybe he'll loose our number.
Maybe I'll tell him I changed it to 867-5309, because chances are, being the head bangers that they are, his parents wouldn't catch on.
Maybe Wyatt should start to wear a disguise.
Maybe I'll bribe the school next year, to place them in seperate classes.