SS8 went to his very first after school play date yesterday, with his first real friend. He was so excited, and kept talking about it all night. My friend this and my friend that, and my friend has, and my friend said... it was wonderful to see him so excited. Turns out his friends mum is also a single parent, doing it tough, and she had previously tried to make conversation with BM in the school playground, only to be ignored by BM. Once my partner explained the situation to her, she completely understood. Now SS8 is planning a sleep over with his new friend. This is the kind of thing I promised SS8 if he were to live with us permanently, the normal childhood stuff, unlike what he has with his mother, no friends, no play dates, no happiness and extremely low self-esteem.