Monday, March 19, 2012
Just Most of the Time
The one cool surprise about parenting is the friendship part.
Watching our children forge bonds with children their own age is not painful like I was once worried it might be.
The toddler years scared me silly.. I was beginning to think the whole staying-at-home gig was rotting all of our brains.
Something about the preschool lobby made them feral and completely uncivilized to the point of tears. Mine.
Many days did I "have an appointment" or phantom playdate just so we could get out of earshot of the innocent parent/child conglomerations I so envied. Their kids would smile at each other or sit nicely playing with the bead table together.
My kids acted like their skin was aflame with flesh-eating buzzards. Upon being faced with conversation and a possible new social situation, my own gene pool would wail and moan like heartsick baby whales. Except not baby whales, more like mortifying and embarrassingly loud baby whale larvae (which is really called a calf or a cub or still something cute so my analogy sinks like big rocks.)
Regardless, I just knew I was doomed to years and years of SitterCity and cheap wine.
But then the baby whale calf cubs grew up.
They made friends.
They dropped their tadpole tales and sprouted sturdy "please" and "thank you" legs.
They worked through anxieties and figured out laughter, fun, and playing chase are the sparkly jewels of friendship.
In fact, what once was our super sensitive boy (who would sooner drive himself into the backs of my knees over speaking to "new" people) is now a proficient communicator.
He will occasionally complain of a migraine, shortness of breath (Broadway, Baby), and/or a multitude of displaced social agony burrowing in his innards.
But now we know what's up. He's unsure. Of himself. Of the stranger. Of what to expect from both.
With a quick conversation about unnecessary worry bugs and nervousness, we can bring him out of his tunnel vision of unknowns and into the lightness of making new friends. Not always, just most of the time.
Goodbye Berringer, Hello Little League.
I have to thank Grayson's friends for much of this. There are a few boys and girls who have literally held his hand leading him to the playground to play afterschool.
In turn, it has forced me to be more social and accept the fate of making small talk in skin that may or may not be freshly washed.
I still prefer to hide in the bathroom in my nude face and sweat drenched workout clothes but the faculty is starting to wonder what kind of meth I'm selling in there so I force myself out of the shadows.
Not always, just most of the time.
You gotta have friends.