I shouldn't be surprised (and I'm not, really), but Colin is ever emgerging as a leader. He absolutely loves to be around people - kids, teens, adults, any age will do - and loves to be guiding them in whatever activity he creates. Sometimes it's a little trying, while he's this young. Yesterday we attended a library reading group, and Colin was up and exploring most of the time. And as soon as the other kids saw him roaming, a few started to follow him, while others just kept their eyes trained on him. Either way, Colin was blazing the trail. Luckily, most of the mothers there seemed to be okay with it. I've been to a few groups where the parents clearly don't allow as much exploration as I do, and are visibly upset that I allow Colin as much freedom. Once Colin is going, their children don't see why they can't follow.
He might gather a group around him, but Colin is definitely leading the way as to what and how they explore. At one point he lied down on the ground to get a better view of the ceiling. When two others lied down beside him, Colin decided that he'd had enough and jumped up again. He is definitely not influenced easily by others.
Which, one day, I hope will serve him well. The most influential years are inarguably the teen years, and it is at this time that I hope his leadership skills don't fail him. I want him to be able to run to the beat of his own drum, and not feel obligated to do something just because the others are. I know how difficult that is, and how hard I tried at times to fit in. I have a cousin who is naturally individualistic, and looking back she may have been high maintenance and ofttimes a little princess, but at least she was leading the charge. She expressed herself the way she wanted, and few people could influence her otherwise.
It's hard to say what will happen in the future, but for now I will tolerate the other mothers' stares, defiantly sticking to my guns that Colin's independant leadership qualities will do him more good than harm in the end.