When I was a kid, my mother was always reassuring me that the day would come when making friends would be easier for me. Don't worry, she'd say, there are more kids in High School. Then, oh, in college you'll meet people you have more in common with. When you're a parent you'll meet lots of people in your new town.
Caroline at Potato Prints wrote about friendship today. Her drawing really resonates with me. Looking from the outside in, wanting to be a part of that closeness, or fun, and yet being too scared to step forward. It is so lonely.
When commenting to Caroline I realize: I've lived here for eight years. I don't think 'I'm new in town' is my problem anymore. My son is entering third grade and my daughter will attend kindergarten at the same school next year. I know friends won't just jump out and attach themselves to me. I do feel like I'm different than most people here. I grew up in a big city, most folks grew up in this small town. I encounter many folks who've learned racist attitudes from their parents. I cannot get close to someone who believes that type of thing. Where is my bosom buddy?
My daughter is very extroverted. I've had to stretch my boundaries for her. I need to do it more. It is hard for me to arrange play dates for my kids, and yet, how will they learn about friendship if I don't make it possible for them? Yes, they play with kids at school and camp, but we don't often have a child over to play.
Somehow I need to push myself out of this friendless zone, for myself.