Lately, I have been wrestling with certain emotions. Emotions that surface when I feel like my child has been slighted. It is difficult, because I know that Finn is oblivious to the social nuances in which these slights take place, but that is not always going to be the case. Also, I know that these slights result from either his parents' reserved and less than social nature and/or his own, neither of which are going to change. I see this as a lifelong challenge he (and therefor, I) will face.
For example, an acquaintance's daughter just turned two. They threw a party. Now, initially I wasn't bothered by the fact that Finn was not invited because we have had little contact with this woman and her daughter. However, perusing the birthday pictures on Facebook (curse you social media!!!), I noticed that almost everyone we know was invited, even those who probably have as much (or as little) contact with them as we do. It made me start questioning why we were "overlooked." Was it due to my social reserve? Did it stem from Finn's taciturn behavior? Were these children invited because they threw parties to which this girl was invited and she was reciprocating? (We did not throw a party for Finn, partly because I think it unnecessary at two, and I knew he would prefer something quiet.)
Other slights have occurred when adults have ignored Finn in favor of other children because his needs/wants were not vocalized as forcibly as those of others in the vicinity. Sometimes, I can intervene in his behalf, but not always. Adults will often spend less time engaging with Finn than with other children because he doesn't supply them with immediate positive feedback (although I can tell that he does enjoy the interaction).
It is hard for me as a parent in these situations. I want my son to have friends. I want other people to appreciate him for who he is. There are so many wonderful things to like about him, but these characteristics are discovered over time and with patience. I also recognize the need for myself to proceed with caution--to not project my feelings onto and vocalize my worries to Finn. He may not be bothered by the lack of social invites or lack of attention. Like his father and me, Finn might be just fine with "calling it good" with a few close friends--people with whom he can really connect.
As a parent, you want to protect your child from hurt and harm and tough emotions and it is a sad to realize how powerless you are to do so. I am just getting the smallest taste of what is in store for the future, and I can't say that I like it very much.