A family activity we like to do is to go for a walk to nearby parks so that Ryan has time to play outside before bedtime. Promptly after dinner Ryan pulls us to the door and grabs his shoes so that we can go outside to play. Our current apartment building has a playground so he excitedly runs towards it every time we’re outside. His favorite playground activities are to slide and play in the sandbox. He’s happy playing by himself but loves it when others want to play with him as well. But there is a difference between him playing in Karakol and him playing in Bishkek.
In Bishkek, Ryan leads us to whichever playground he wants to visit. There are more kids around, since it is the capital city, so one would think that there is an endless amount of children to play with. Sadly, Ryan is too young and a little too “I want to play with you” for others to want to play with him. He’ll walk up to a kid, speak his Ryan-speak, and be interested in playing, and maybe chase after a kid or two, but in the end they look at him as if to say, “Who are you and why do you want to play with me?” It would devastate me to see others ignore him. “He just wants to play with someone. Why won’t they play with him?” is what I would tell Derrick.
The first time Ryan was out in our courtyard in Karakol two other little girls were out there playing. I prepared myself to see him get rejected. But then, a funny thing happened: They were interested in him and didn’t run away like others usually do. Then a voice from across the yard encouraged them to play with Ryan. It was their mother. Later that evening a group of 7-8 yr. old boys were outside playing as well and Ryan started to run after them. I thought to myself, “Surely, these boys are going to stop Ryan from running after them.” Another funny thing: They turned to play with him! Oh, the simple joy of seeing my son playing with others has made the transition to our new home easier.