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Les Liaisons Dangereuses

Simon’s best friend without a doubt is Baron. It’s a funny pairing, because Baron is the walking expression of pure physicality, while Simon lives a life of the mind. Theirs is an opposites-attract relationship, with Baron playing Yang to Simon’s Yin. I know I’m oversimplifying, but I also feel sure that Baron has never told his parents “I watched my friends play” when they ask about his day, whereas we regularly hear this from Simon.

I value this relationship because I assume it encourages Simon to explore his physical side and to let loose some of his inhibitions. I assume Baron is a balancing factor in Simon’s life. When Simon lifts up his balled up fists to me, tells me he’s “a bad guy”, growls, and chases me, I know he learned this type of play from Baron.

But I’m also learning that everything, even friendship, is a trade-off. And the downside of Simon’s yin-yang friendship is the existence of some very literal battle scars. About three weeks ago, Ms. Jill met me at the door when I picked up Simon to tell me about a playground accident. Baron was playing around, he got a little out of control, and he pushed Simon off the slide. As in, the top of the slide. Simon cried and was very scared, and the staff had to remove him from the playground to calm him down and make sure he was ok.

Then last Thursday, I noticed a nasty looking bruise, actually a grouping of three bruises with a red splotch, over Simon’s right eye. I asked him what happened, and this is what he told me:

“Baron hit me with a rock. We were playing on the play ground and being bad guys, and he hit me with a rock on my face. I cried and cried and cried. Ms. Jill made me feel better.”

I believe him, though Ms. Jill reported that while Baron did indeed hit Simon, she didn’t think a rock was involved. I’m not mad at Baron, and I’m still glad Baron and Simon are friends. But I’m starting to think that these two require additional supervision on the playground before “boys will be boys” turns into someone getting hurt!

One Response to “Les Liaisons Dangereuses”

  1. blg says:

    How very restrained of you….

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