Sammy’s been going to preschool a few days a week, for just a few hours on those days. This summer there is a boy in class with him, Nathan.
Or, as Sammy refers to him: “My super hero”.
At first I didn’t even realize Sammy was talking about a real person, as he would spout off random facts about his super hero, and what they did together. he DOES sneak around the house, talking quietly into various phone-like objects, as he spies on us or fights “the bad guys” that only he can see. He loves being a super hero in his action fantasies, karate chopping as he jumps off his bed, or leaping into some sort of summersault before he dashes off to save the world… in our dining room. So I figured this guy he was talking about was his imaginary side kick.
But, as I picked him up one day from school, he pointed him out to me. “That’s my super hero!” So began my understanding that this was a real boy my son seemed to worship. I asked questions, like “why do you call Nathan your super hero?” “Because he IS my super hero, mom!”. Oh. Okay. Well, I did see him wearing a Super man T-shirt that first day…so maybe this Nathan kid thinks he IS some super hero….maybe he only likes to wear super hero clothes or something. No big deal.
But sometimes Sammy would talk in the back seat on our way home from school, and in his continuous monologue, I would here little things like how Sammy ALWAYS wants to sit by Nathan, but sometimes Nathan sits by other people and Sammy doesn’t like that. Because that’s HIS super hero… I wondered, did Nathan want to sit by Sammy as much as Sammy wanted to sit by him?
“Sammy….does Nathan call you Super hero too???” he said yes, Sometimes, Nathan calls him super hero, but he always calls Nathan super hero. He really, really liked Nathan. I asked him for the names of other kids he was friends with. He just shrugs. They aren’t his Superhero, so who cares?
So this goes on. It’s not a daily obsession, but I hear about Nathan several times during the week. One day I was going to keep him home from school so we could go to the zoo with friends. Sammy wanted to go, but didn’t want to miss Nathan at school. We had graduated to “My Superhero Nathan”. We still went, I told him his super hero would be fine without him for a day.
I really wanted to meet this kids mom. I guess I thought best case scenario, the boys would be equally obsessed with each other, and they could hang out sometimes. Maybe they were two peas in a pod, and would remain lifelong friends, understanding each other like no one else could. But first…I had to make sure Sammy wasn’t driving this kid crazy.
Today was the day.
I picked him up at school, gathering in the lobby with the other parents as we waited for the teacher to let us in. Surreptitiously glancing at the other moms….which one is His??
Once inside, I walk up to Sammy. “Hey, Buddy!, Where’s Nathan?” He points to another boy, who is not paying us any attention. I’m watching to see who is there for him. There she is, a slight blonde woman with a toddler on her hip. Excited, I head over, Sammy in tow.
“Excuse me!, I’m Kim, Sammy’s mom!”….. as if I expected a thrilled response from her. Something along the lines of “Oh, Sammy….you’re SAMMY’S mom???!!!! I’m SOOOO excited to meet you! Nathan just can’t stop talking about Sammy ALL THE TIME!!”
Well…. she DID smile at me. That’s pretty much it.
I kept going. “I hope Nathan talks as much about Sammy as Sammy talks about him!” A teacher overhead us and came over, “Oh I know, he always calls Nathan his super hero!” This was met by another smile, a little laugh from his mom. But no real interaction. Clearly, she was not as excited to meet me. And her son….why wasn’t he talking to Sammy? He just sat there, still not paying us any attention. She was nice, not rude at all. But…there was no real interest coming from her. I didn’t feel like talking about play dates…..instead just said it was nice to meet her, and we left.
I asked more about Nathan on the way home. Sammy was pretty adamant that he ONLY wanted to play with Nathan. No one else. He only wanted to sit by Nathan. Then he mentions to me that Nathan felt sick today. According to Sammy, Nathan told him not to sit next to him because he was getting sick. He even held his arm out to ward Sammy off. Sammy felt like it was worth the risk…and reports sitting by Nathan anyway. So now I’m starting to feel weird. Is my son stalking this boy? How do I fix THIS?
I try talking about how it’s nice to play with ALL the kids…. and every one might be a good friend to have, and wouldn’t it be nice to have lots of friends at school? No, Sammy is completely sure he doesn’t need anyone but his super hero. Well, “does Nathan play with other kids?”, Well, if he does, Sammy doesn’t see it. He says no.
My friend takes Sammy to school on the days I work. She met Nathan’s dad….one day Nathan introduced Sammy to his dad when they were picking up the kids. This makes me feel slightly better, at least Nathan hadn’t run away from Sammy, screaming for his dad to save him from my son.
I’ve talked about it with my family. I feel bad for Sammy, and I want to make sure he isn’t acting in a way that bothers anyone else. As my family pointed out….I would surely be notified if he was causing any trouble…. but I don’t want him to be the obsessed kid, following someone around all the time. I want him to be the one other people are obsessed with….it’s SO much cooler!
Well, I guess I’ve just got to look at the upside. So far, my son has absolutely NO idea that he is possibly stalking someone. He’s happy, excited to go to school, and happy to have his super hero Nathan to play with. He’s confident in his choice of friends, and believes his feelings are reciprocated. I’m GLAD he’s happy.
I’m still going to encourage him to play and get to know the other kids.
This is my first stalking, I don’t know really what else to do.