Running is such a release for me. It was such a shock when I was advised to stop due to injury. As I’m no spring chicken I feared that was it. But luckily a period of recuperation and a completely changed exercise regime has got me pounding the trails again. Some days you think WHY…..

Drenched, cold and running into a 20mph wind. Unfortunately I’m not what you would call aerodynamic. Today I felt like a tub of lard. An unfit Tub of lard would probably have gone quicker into that wind than me. At least nobody witnessed my struggles. These winter months it feels like I have the place to myself. Splendid isolation it might be but oh for the occasional running partner.

Splendid isolation is a phrase our son likes. I think he’s decided that he would love to have a circle of friends while getting as far away as possible from everyone else. I think most of us probably feel that way these days.

As a parent you desperately want your kids to be happy. Seeing the world through my eyes I often see happiness in terms of him spending time with a range of friends. Yet in reality this doesn’t happen. Over the last 16 months he’s been invited to one birthday party and probably had no more than 5 or 6 meet-ups (if that). The friends he made at his last school have slowly drifted into new friendship circles. The way his new school has put him in a class with none of his old friends has not helped. When I spoke to the school they argued that as he was basically low attainment they didn’t have any option open to them. Read low attainment as being dyslexic and being on the spectrum. And NO school – sitting a random kid next to him in a class does not count as a friend. Last year he did start to make a couple of friends in his class but both kids were moved up into a higher class in the summer. Out of school there are no kids his age in the village. Hardly any kids at all and certainly no communal play facilities for miles. But that’s through my eyes.

Through his eyes it’s Splendid Isolation. He will find the right people to be friends with in his own time and in his own way. Until then he’s more than happy with his Old Pop and doing things on his own. It’s important that we recognise that everyone is different. And difference is a good thing. To me being so isolated is a significant cause of anxiety – but not to our son. To me running is a brilliant releases – but to our son running is monumentally boring and should be restricted to no more than the occasional 5 yard burst. He does have a point.

64 thoughts on “Splendid

  1. I have to agree with son on this… Splendid Isolation and unless an ax murderer (or possibly a current Head Of State) is chasing me, no running.

    Its natural, I think to remember our childhoods and project on to our kiddos. Sometimes its great, it offers understanding. Sometimes its just our baggage and not relevant. I believe you will both find your way together!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I do love splendid isolation but if someone called me low attainment I think I would be quite upset. I have a running post in my mind, as soon as I can get it out, and it IS very lonely. I am trying to push my distance and am finding, like you, a little conversation or even just runners around, would be appreciated. It’s humid, rainy and pouring here – and didn’t my knee ache during squats on squats day at the gym. I so want this to disappear so I can get to my runs without issue. Runs are always first…

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, I’m thinking squats are out. I went in today – thankfully squats weren’t on the menu because I think I am not going to be squatting for a while (if ever again).

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  3. I feel your concerns for your son, my friend … been there. I think that a few years from now, you will be surprised as you look around and see that he has one or two very close, very special friends. He doesn’t need a crowd … he will be more comfortable with just one, maybe two who operate on his plane, who understand, and who are somehow deeper thinkers than the hoards of kids that surround others. Relax … this is one that really will work itself out. Meanwhile … run. I used to work until 10 or 11 at night, then come home, change, and run for the better part of an hour. I cannot anymore, but I still walk 4 miles most days. It is therapeutic, it is what allows us to clear the cobwebs and other detritus out of our minds. Hugs.

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  4. School is such an artificial environment. When else in life are we herded together with people of the same age? You can be a friend to your son and that’s fine. As you know I was home educated, although I went to school for 6th form- and hated it! 🙂

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  5. Another splendid post. Right now I’m getting a lot of “concern” from “professionals” about the kids becoming isolated now they’re out of school. But actually they’ve now made an actual real friend who they see around once a week to play D&D. Which is so much better than 30 hours a week in the company of the fake friends they had in school.
    I’ve been having to do a lot of unwanted social interaction lately and have just figured out that it’s the reason I’m now burnt out.
    Isolation really is splendid for me. And running is hell. But glad it works for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Luckily his health counsellor is really good. She gets it. Trying to give him the tools to deal with people or be by himself – cover all bases. She does not try to push him. Your so right one good friend is what it’s all about. A while back I started going into a coffee shop by myself. Just to get me out into the real world. But too much anxiety so I ditched that plan.


  6. I think of you often, and it is no coincidence I saw this blog. You are right, isolation from his friends is not what he needs. I was recently diagnosed with Autism, at 58. I worked in the field, and when I saw my report cards from elementary school? It clicked.

    Sara has no self esteem. Sara cannot grasp the art of skipping. Sara won’t reach out to others and takes direction from no one.

    I didn’t and the result was a life of anguish. Anorexia, bulimia, drug and alcohol addiction, CPTSD because of emotional abuse in an alcoholic family. I learned to make friends, but inevitably had to change my circle when Jesus changed my heart and I did develop my core esteem. I was so petrified of social situations I drank, and not a bloody soul in my family would tell me anything because I would fall apart. Wasn’t allowed to watch Lassie as a child because I would dry heave each time the poor dog got lost.

    I pray you find a school that celebrates your son’s differences. My brother did that for my niece, and she is 17 and well on her way to a beautiful life, with friends galore. My prayers to you~

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I still worry about this, too, but like you say, we have to let them make friends on their own. Biff tells me he spends most recesses wandering around the yard telling stories to himself. I’m on the verge of tears, fearing he’ll have no friends, and yet plenty of his classmates will say bye to him after school, and one invited him to a birthday party. We can’t force our sons into friendships, and if I was honest with myself, I didn’t have legit friends until I was 14. If our boys are content and happy, then let us be so, too. 🙂 xxxxxxxx

    Of course, Bash is another matter, but that’s for another day…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good old Bash. Biff sounds like my kid. You are so right. It will happen when it happens. We can’t force it. And if he ends up living by himself in the middle of nowhere and he’s happy then good on him. The other thing we need to remember is that the most parents need friends as well. Need friend time. xxxxxx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It just goes to show how important those old friendships are. Bo’s two best friends have been in his life for almost thirty years. The kids call them “Uncle __ and Aunt __” because, as we’ve said to the kids, they’re as close as family. And frankly, they’ve been a more loving family to Bo than many of Bo’s blood relations.

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