Reluctantly I joined a mommy group. I’ve joined them before and typically make it half-way though the semester before dropping out. I’ve had my reasons. Crunched schedule, work schedule, preschool pick up drop off drama, a new baby…you know all the normal excuses. But also the abnormal, “I’m anti-social, we have nothing in common, I hate drama, etc.”
Maybe I’ve been unfair in my assessment of said mommy groups. Maybe they’re more useful than I’ve given them credit. And so in an effort to be a little more open-minded and a little less judge-y I’m trying again.
We’re early in the season so the verdict is still out. I can see their usefulness but as an introvert I find them challenging. Can I just talk to that girl in the coffee line? What do I say? “Umm, do you have kids?” Gah! That’s worse than saying “you too” to a server who says “enjoy your meal.”
I’ve written myself off as being utterly socially awkward, and while there are few that appreciate my awkwardness, my off the cuff remarks and extreme sarcasm, there are probably more out there that think I’m a giant weird-o. They’re right. If they spent a day in my head they’d know it for sure.
So, making friends has always been a bit of a challenge. I don’t have a lot of them, but the ones I have are keepers for life. The only problem is that the majority of my “keeper for life friends” happen to live two states away. We call and text and visit as often as we can, but somethings it gets a little lonely over here. Thus the mommy group.
I’m trying in other ways also, to make friends, which as an adult is something like petting a porcupine. It’s worse than I remember dating being. I mean seriously, how do we do this?
A few weeks ago I walked up to my son’s school. There was a book fair going on, I didn’t have my information right and was walking up to the front desk to check in. I spoke out loud to my son, “I guess we need to check in.”
She called out to me from her car “wait, are we supposed to check in for the fair?”
“I don’t know,” I replied.
She jumped out of her car and started walking beside me. “I feel like I never know what’s going on.”
I agreed, “I feel like such a bad mom.”
We smiled, laughed as we commiserated. Yup, we’re clueless, kindergarten parents. We’re dipping our toes in the water and sometimes we feel a little lonely in the pool. As the fair concluded we we waved good-bye. I had this strange longing to connect.
“I hope to see you around!”
She stopped, turned and said “yeah.” Not “yeah” in a sure, but I’ll blow you off sort of way, but “yeah” in let’s swap numbers and grab a coffee.
I left with her number in my phone, with this strange excitement. Hurray! I made a friend. I went home that afternoon overjoyed. At dinner I exclaimed my big news to my husband. “I made a friend today!” He looked at me like I was in the 3rd grade.
In a way I am a third-grader. I still have those same wants and needs for connection. I want someone to talk to and make daisy-chains with. Do we ever really stop wanting this? Do we wake up one day and say, “nope” I don’t want friends any more? It hasn’t for me yet, but I’m still young so who knows. I just have this hunch that we’re built for connection, we’re built to do life together.
So today I leave you with this, don’t stop searching, seeking, and friending.