The past weekend was monopolized by Robby's burgeoning social calendar. Between play dates and parties, I spent the majority of my time chauffeuring him around town. I suppose that this is simply a taste of what lies ahead in my future. All complaining aside, it is nice to see him so happy and busy with his friends.
Friday, while sitting in the parent area of yet another bounce house, I had a revelation. I consider myself a social person, put in a room of my peers and I can start a conversation with just about anybody. However, I don't seem to fit in with the parents of Robby's classmates. As they all chatted and joked with each other, I felt like a shrinking violet in the corner of the room. My laptop became a shield to keep me occupied and to keep the isolation at bay while everybody around me seemed to be having a great time.
This isn't the first time I felt out of place among the other parents. At Robby's previous school I had a similar issue. Although I was liked, I felt as if I was never fully accepted into the social circle. I was heavily involved with the class, but always felt excluded by the parents. In reality it didn't bother me that much last year because I wasn't terribly fond of any of the parents. In fact, I considered myself lucky to not have to deal with them socially!
This year is different. Robby's classmates are more down to earth and grounded, and their parents seem genuinely nice. Despite my best intentions, I find myself reverting to my high school mentality when I am in social situations with this particular group of Moms. I tried to break down my self-imposed barriers and open a conversation, but it wasn't successful. It is awkward when everybody else is chatting and laughing, and my contributions are met with single word responses and uncomfortable looks.