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So here's the thing. Not everything needs to be a growth opportunity. But you can't just let them go by all the time either. I view this as a pick your battles type thing, and my instinct is to let the boy play with his friends. On the other hand, how many of these growth opportunities that are this good are you going to get? Playing with a whole new team is substantially different than playing with five new guys. I don't think there is a wrong answer.

So let's talk about me.

This weekend was homecoming at High School and FirstLock (who has a lot of social anxiety) wanted to do the whole thing. He wanted to go to the parade and the game and the dance. If you have told me that FirstLock would be in a general ed high school and want to do all that six years ago, I would have taken it in a heart beat.

So they went to the parade. Mrs. Lock took him and while they were watching the wrestling float came by. FirstLock has been doing wrestling after school. Right now it is just open gym the real season and practice doesn't start until November. The coach really wants FirstLock to join because he is the only kid in his weight class (under 108 lbs) and the coach hasn't had anyone in that weight class for a few years. Anyway the boys on the float holler at him to join them, so he runs into the parade and jumps up on the float leaving Mrs. Lock to figure out where to pick him up later (spoilers - she found him.)

They went to the game later that night, but FirstLock left at half time (which is what I figured.)

By Saturday and the dance FirstLock just wanted to stay home, but I really leaned on him to go. I told him that I wasn't doing it to "build character" but rather I knew that he did want to go. He was excited about it and I didn't want his anxiety to rob him of something he wanted to do. So in the end he went and I stayed in the parking lot so he could leave when he wanted. He lasted about 20 minutes which was fine. He got to talk to his friends and have some fun and he was glad he went.

Wally

P.S. There were two arguments I considered and discarded. The first was, "I paid $15 for that ticket and you're going!" It's like my dad tried to possess me. Which is a neat trick since he is still alive.
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