I’m beginning to see my son mature and along with his maturity progressing as has his choice of friends and the sub groups they fall in. Friendships among boys can be very interesting.
Dad’s think about the choices their children make in choosing their friends – their behavior, values, and sense of humor to name a few. But, for a dad with a disability there is a whole additional layer of thoughts in addition to the routine thoughts. For me as a dad who uses a wheelchair, I’m not your run of the mill dad, aside from dad humor. So, when my son starts a new friendship I tend to almost hide, watching from the “window”. I don’t want my disability to be a factor in his social growth and ability to form friendships. In a previous post I touched on this area.
I believe throughout life even into adulthood we have different sets of friends – school/work, place of worship, and the gym or park. The friends in those groups are what I refer to as friends of convenience. They only know you in those areas. There is one group I didn’t list. Your core friends, ride or die friends. These friends know everything about you and have your back at every turn. Allow me to introduce a group of 5 boys who are the exemplary example of love, acceptance, and I believe were brought together by a higher power.
These 5 boys call themselves the “The Bananas” after the comical baseball team – The Savannah Bananas. Their friendship began when at random they were thrown on a recreational baseball team. Quickly, they became friends outside of baseball. Together, they are the most funniest and entertaining group of boys. However, if you look deeper they are an amazing example of pure acceptance of individuality.
Four of the boys have challenges that are not apparent to the eye. My son and 1 other boy have anxiety, another is hard of hearing, and then one has trouble with headaches. Amongst themselves they confide in each other and openly talk about their challenges. When they are together they help each other. One great example, my son was telling me that he and his friend who is hard of hearing have come up with a unique set of signs that only they can understand.
They are only 9 and 10, but I can see a lifetime of memories. It’s not by coincidence that a boy with parents who have disabilities finds a group of kids who have challenges themselves.