Now that we've all known each other a while, we talk about lots of stuff that goes beyond our kids, and we support each other and have a really nice network of families. We have gone through job changes and family health issues together and we've vented and laughed and bitched and cried together. We've seen our kids grow and change together over the last couple of years.
It's not that I don't want to be friends with moms from Fiona's class, because I have met a few women I like really well. But a couple of things have changed since Delia started school that make it harder to fall into the natural rhythm of getting to know new people. One thing is that, this year, the school district has developed a new policy of "kids only" inside the school yard during school hours as part of its safety and security program. So now, instead of walking the kids onto the playground and standing around chatting while the kids play before the bell rings, parents walk the kids just up to the school gate or let them out of the car in the parking lot drop off lanes. Without the opportunity to congregate in the morning and get to know each other, there isn't an effortless exchange like there was when Delia started kindergarten. On this same note, I realize that I wasn't working when Delia started school, so I was there on the schoolyard to pick her up every day, opening up another possibility for meeting other parents. Now, I work part time, so I am only there in the afternoon a couple of days a week, and then, I tend to spend the time catching up with the moms I know-- my mom friends-- instead of striking up new relationships. A mom can only spread herself so thin, after all.
|Fiona, 3 year old "wing-girl"|
I also have to be honest then, and take some of this on myself. I'm not really good about putting myself out there and being a joiner. I'm pretty strongly in the introvert camp. I mean, I'm a writer partly because I like to sit by myself and think. A lot. And I'm much older than a lot of these moms (like, I could be their mom) and I admit that this even made it hard for me with the mom friends I have made. Yeah, you caught me, I am whining in self defense.
I have tried to step up my efforts to help in Fiona's class, so I have volunteered for Art Masterpiece, and I did go on the field trip to a farm in October, and I helped out with the fall festival (oh, wait, that was for Delia's class, so it didn't really help me meet kindergarten parents...) I did see a promising sign a couple of weeks ago. I was walking to school to help with a kindergarten party/art activity, when one of the kindergarten moms stopped and offered me a ride the rest of the way. Our kids are friends, so we had plenty to talk about and it was fun to work in the classroom with her. We've just become Facebook friends, so I think that's a start...
School yard pic from this page