Thursday, February 23, 2006

Making friends, whether I want to or not

I live in a very tight circle. I have a few friends, some closer than others, and I am comfortable in my little circle. I am a busy mom, so I don't have a lot ot time to forge new friendships. Yesterday, I made new friends, even though I wasn't looking for any.

Tayler has decided that she wants to join the Girl Scouts (again). I went to the first meeting with her after school and there were a lot of other mothers there. I said my hellos to the ladies I knew, careful not to linger for fear I might be drawn into a conversation I didn't want to participate it. I kept eyeing the chair next to the door, the one all by itself, thinking that is where I want to sit. Sit and be alone.

But it wasn't to be. The mothers were herded over to a table with another leader. I sat next down to a mother that I am friendly with and I told her this is when they try to get us to volunteer to be leaders. She had a look of shock on her face and asked, do you really think so? I said, oh yes, I have been in this position before, many times, with many different organizations. And sure enough that's what happened. The guilt ridden speech about how these girls desperately needed a leader and would someone please step up came next. I looked around the table at all these moms that are new to these things. They were adverting their eyes or whispering to each other hoping not to be noticed or singled out. I finally spoke up and told the GS leader that most of us either had small kids in addition to our hopeful girlscouts, or the moms worked. The leader looked at me like I had said nothing but the other moms started to nod and agree. They started to talk about co-leading and taking different offices, but that is not what GS does. It is a one woman show.

But I digress. After my statement(s) the other moms started talking to me, engaging me in conversation about kids, parks and fast food restaurants. It was nice. The conversation was actually nice. I looked over at the chair by the door, all alone and it no longer looked appealing to me.

Last night was skate night for the elementary school. Jeff wanted to go so bad, but you see, he doesn't skate. I had planned on going, taking the older kids and their friends and burying my head in a book while I waited for the fun to end. But Jeff kept saying he was willing to give skating a try. Jeff trying a new thing, is well, a big deal so I couldn't turn him down. When we got to the rink and I went and got his skates and me some skates too. I laced us into them and onto the skate floor we went. Jeff must have fell 24 times on the first round. He would fall and I would pick him up, he would fall and I would pick him, he would fall and - you can see where this is going. I was also trying to help other little bodies that were strewn around the rink next to the wall. I was picking kids up everywhere and wondering why their parents weren't out there humiliating themselves on skates like I was. Again, I digress.

We made it around the rink that first time, whew. I had Jeff practice on the carpet for a while. I was sure he would give up and I could sit by the door with my book and dole out quarters to him for the arcade. Nope, he wanted to try again. So around the rink we went, again. He fell less this time, but I was sure he would give up. Nope, we went around again and again and again. We did that for two hours, we took a couple of breaks for water but he was determined. He never did get very good at it, but when we would make it to our starting place he would declare, I only fell six times (or seven or four) that time around. Much better than the 24 when we started.

I finally had to take my skates off, my feet were cramping up and I just couldn't do it anymore. I was sitting on a bench messaging my feet when a neighbor came over and introduced herself to me. We have lived three houses apart for 15 year but have never met. Sad, huh!? We talked about the neighborhood, the neighbors and our families. We have a nice conversion. After she left another neighbor, my next door neighbor who I just exchange niceties with on the rare occasion that I see her out, walked over and we had a nice long conversation. A dad came over and thanked me for helping his daughter out with her skating. He had had knee surgery not too long ago and was not able to skate. He was appreciations that I had helped his daughter. We exchanged knee surgery stories and had a nice conversation.

Soon, almost too soon, it was time to load up the car and head home. I felt happy, like I had made some new friends, whether I wanted to or not.


Blogger Slacker Mom said...

Sounds like a great time, both of them. I love it when I get surprised by having a better time than I expect to. :)

Good perseverence on Jeff's part, you must have been proud of him.

5:03 AM  
Anonymous rhonda said...

So who is going to be the GS leader? I did it for 2 years. No one wanted to step up in the beginning, but once the ball started rolling then ALL of the moms wanted to be in charge. It ended up being horrible, and I gave up. Moms can be tough to hang with sometimes.

8:02 AM  

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