Gather children as I attempt to relate to you some of my awkwardness around children my own age when I was rather young.
Not very I was around nine or so.
I am too lazy to draw crappy paint pictures for you so I'm afraid you'll have to get by on my incredibly descriptive...descriptions.
Once upon a time I slept over my very good friend Kiko's house. Kiko played softball. I did nothing. I was not a team player. (Also I was super un-athletic around my peers.) Kiko had a scrimmage for softball the morning after I slept over and she had invited me to go along. I thought it would be pretty fun and well I loved baseball after all. (I didn't like watching games so much at this point in my life though.)
Kiko got all set up and introduced me to some of her friends and got suited up to practice playing catcher.
Well this changed all of my expectations.
I don't really know what I had expected, I think that I had thought that I'd watch Kiko hit a few balls and then I'd get to chat with her afterwards or maybe we'd still get to play around together.
I certainly didn't expect to be hanging out awkwardly behind the dugout while Kiko stayed in the game for a long while.
So I decided to occupy myself.
There was a large rock behind the dugout and when I was a kid I loved climbing rocks.
Who am I kidding, I love climbing stuff now.
I situated myself on the rock. Because now I was the shopkeeper/wizard/thing. I started fooling around with grass and leaves and other rocks...because that is how I occupied myself whenever I was outside. I played with sticks. And dirt.
AND I WAS GRATEFUL.
Whenever Kiko was back in the dugout I would question her as to how much longer she would be (because I was completely oblivious that she had wanted to share something important to her with me because apparently that day I decided to be the most embarrassing and weird friend I possibly could be.) and then I would try to draw her attention to whatever I was doing. I think I might've even tried to show her teammates what I was up to with dirt and rocks. If they didn't know I was Kiko's friend they probably would've assumed I was somebody's slightly annoying younger cousin.
Years later looking back I can tell that Kiko was embarrassed. I had always been the mature one in our group of friends. I was the one praised for acting like an adult. Yet here I was in front of a group of girls that Kiko looked up to and was friends with and I was acting like an attention hogging and oblivious brat.
So Kiko, I apologize for acting weird all those years go.
I almost never knew how to act in front of a group of kids my own age that I didn't know that well. I was good at making friends when concentrating on one or two people, but I was just comfortable and used to how to behave in front of adults. At that exact point I didn't really have the mindset to try to act older or cooler in front of kids I didn't know very well.
But that all changed when the fire nation attacked.