Wednesday, March 28, 2007

I Went On A Date!

A playdate, to be exact. Joe-Henry has been talking for a long time about a little boy in the other kindergarten class. He'd talk about how they played at recess, and how kind he was. I finally met this little boy and his mom at the Bingo night at his school a while back, and while I really loved the little boy, I especially liked his mom. We were both in the same state of open-mouthed shock at the Bingo night. Well, that's not quite true. While my jaw routinely hit the floor at some of the parents, she was a lot more polite, and mostly kept her mouth closed.

I don't mean to sound like a snob. I volunteer in Joe-Henry's class once a week, and I can truthfully say I love each of those kids. Some of them come from homes that have less than ideal situations, but a lot of them are from just working class homes, with many brothers and sisters, and the parents just don't do playdates.

I grew up in a small town in Eastern Washington State, and while I loved it when I was young, I was soooo grateful to get out of there. Small towns make me itchy scratchy - there is, for the most part, a fear of "difference". "Difference" being artistic or intelligent, or just questioning the status quo. In highschool, I so wanted to be like everyone else, but eventually I just chafed at the sameness of it, and I'm forever grateful that I did. Because I got out. But the thing is, now I'm back. The town I live in is right across the river from a really urban city, and if the schools across the river in that other state were decent, that's where I'd want to live. But the schools there are perpetually threatened with closure, and the schools here are very good. So this is where we landed. And everyday, I try so hard to just be myself, and I try so hard not to be a snob, but I think I'm mostly treading water. There are so many people here who live in that fearful state, afraid of difference, with no curiosity, no spark, no light. These are the parents I'm talking about. And I just don't wanna hang out with them.

But yesterday was different. This woman has friend potential... smart, interested, a great mom, with a good sense of humor. I have a little mom crush on her. And just in case this is misinterpreted, let me just say - it's been a long year here without my mom friends. Sure we talk on the phone, and I have amazing family here to keep me afloat emotionally, and my dear childhood friend Debbie, who has been so good about keeping in touch, but I had it so good for playdates in LA. We had lots in common, we had similar child-rearing philosophies, and even if we DIDN'T, there was still no question that we were all great moms, doing our best, and the camaraderie was so very special. It's that I miss.

So I'll do my best not to be a superfreak. I'll try not to call too much. I'll try not to bare my soul on the second playdate. But it feels so nice to know that my son has a friend with a mom I like.


Anonymous said...

Oh, I can so, so relate to your "treading water" in the small town/better schools area. I really really want to live in the city. I really really want to live in a place where people are funky (even if I'm not - I feel cooler just being around them). But I also really really want good schools for my children and good recreation programs and safe neighborhoods and dang it, they don't often go together. So here I sit in suburbia and try to keep the alternative wanna-be-freak fire stoked in my heart while I smile and fit in with the other minivan moms. Oh wait...

And yay for the mom crush. I'm SO happy you met a potential friend!

suttonhoo said...


can't wait to hear more. :)

Donna said...

Mom-friends rock! I stumbled into a wonderful group of parents (one was actually a dad who worked nights) in a Parents As Teachers group. Something just clicked and pretty soon we had left PAT in the dust and had our own playgroup! Sadly we moved 45 minutes away and the kids have grown up in the past 7 years. But it was wonderful to be on the same wavelength as other people about our kids. I doubt that I will see that good a group again.

Here's to a long and fun relationship!

anniemcq said...

Thank you all for your encouragement. As I struggle to make friends here, in my "real life", I am sooooo grateful for my blogger friends. You all have made this last year so much better for me, and I'm hoping that the friends I make "irl" are half as smart, funny and wonderful as you all.