A couple months ago, Joey had his first encounter of wanting to "go see about a girl". He and several other boys were riding bikes on our cul-de-sac while the Moms talked and watched. The boys were pretending to shoot each other while riding or some boyish thing like that. Suddenly, Joey stopped riding and got his pogo stick. Since he was the only one to stop in the group and play solo, and now the boys were off bikes and running around the yards playing their equivalent of 'cops and robbers', I encouraged him to re-join the gang. He wouldn't. He continued on, but now was abandoning the pogo stick for another toy he brought out of our garage. Then another. Then he was back on the pogo stick again, having brought it to the end of the driveway, closer to where we all were sitting.
After a short time, Joey said, "Mommy, I know how we can get 'M' to come back." It all hit me. His face was anxious. I then realized that 'M', a fairly new neighbor the next street over, had been on our cul de sac with her mom, talking to the Dad of one of the boys. I was in conversation when M's mom yelled over to another as they were walking away that M decided not to stay with all the boys. I realized just after she appeared on our street, is when Joey went solo. He was making himself available. I hadn't put the two together. But now, my little boy wanted her to come back. His plan was to have his imaginary "kids", being Wizzy and Wig from The Zula Patrol (Who his "kids" are varies, but that's another post!), lure her back to have fun together. But ... it was 8pm! Most kids this age, Joey included, weren't always out this late, as it was still late Spring and they were getting used to later hours now that school was out. I decided to take a chance on the late time; at least she would know of his interest.
As I walked my 5 year old little boy down the street toward M's house, one of the boys noticed and ran after us. "Hey Joey, where are you going?!" Joey said, "I'm going to go see about M playing," and kept walking ... determined.
He was hesitant once we arrived at her house; she was outside with her Dad and sister. My outspoken child, who 'can talk to anyone', was now quiet and pushing me to go up ahead of him. We asked together. She smiled.
M and Joey played at our house that evening until after 8:30. :)