You know that movie "I Love You, Man"?
A guy about to get married realizes he doesn't have enough good guy friends to stand up for him, so he starts searching, going on man-dates. Hilarity ensues.
If Carrie and I don't run an intervention soon, that guy will be Gavin. Believe me, I know, I was the same when I was single (I still don't have many close friends, but I have four kids, so it doesn't matter). Not sure why, maybe being raised by a single Mom, and not having the influence of a man/Dad after the age of 7, but I have always felt more comfortable and confident with women.
It caused me some concern, feeling like an outsider in terms of groups of guys, but I don't think much pain or damage. I was naturally a loner and so it was wash. However, because I spent much of my free time as an adult pursuing and obtaining women, I caused plenty of pain, so I think it's fair to Gavin to perhaps guide him from his preference for the company of boobs and ponytails.
I get it--he has a twin sister and another 15 months older, and spends a lot of time with them. So, at home he's with them, and when we go to play- and park-dates, he's used to playing with them, and they are then playing with other girls. He likes to snuggle up to any grown-up bosom that will have him. No mystery or cause for alarm there, right?
We've been in situations though when a new girl or gaggle of girls makes the scene, he turns into Austin Powers. He nearly had a girl five or six years older bugged out at one park because of his persistence. At another park, two or three third-grade classes from a nearby school swarmed the playground, and damned if he didn't find a harem to wander into the middle of.
Today, he was the only boy (besides Connor) at a little get-together at a good friend's house. So to be fair, he had no choice, but yet the image of him one-on-one with a slightly older girl he had never met, lounging in a sun-dappled spot like an old-time picnic date, took on extra significance due to his reputation.
There's nothing else for it, then. We must create more opportunities for him to play with me and Connor and other boys. If it has to be one of those boys' groups involving drums and tree bark soup and screaming, well, it won't be that much different than every day for Gavin. If we need to start a "Mine, No, Mine" boys-only, toy-tug-o-war playgroup, so be it.
I know Gavin has the raw materials--all I have to do is lay down near him and he's on me for some bashin' about (as my English ancestors would say). He and I and Connor went at it today. And one of my favorite sequences was at one of Connor's preseason football games, when older boys let him in their sideline grab-ass group.
The youngest kid was 5, next-youngest maybe 7, the elders were 10-ish. Somehow related to players or coaches on Connor's team, they did the usual--threw a ball, tackled each other with and without the ball, sat around. Gavin wanted to play with them, and waded right in. He was so young that they couldn't be mean, so cute they just wanted to treat him like a teddy bear.
They let him tackle them, and do chokeholds, and at one point, Gavin wanted to give them a chance at chokeholding him. So he sat in a boy's lap, just like he used to do when it was reading time. Yes, I was a proud papa; partly for his fearlessness, partly for his desire to do guy things.
He'll be alright. He has a brother. His sisters get tired of his bullying and exclude him from time to time. And, I'm here for the long haul, too.