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Archive for February 23rd, 2011

Things I Was Not Prepared For: Parent Roulette

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011
By Glinda

Believe it or not, I’m a friendly person.

I like to think that my friends are good friends, and if I don’t consider you a friend, then you are merely an acquaintance whom I have deemed unworthy of pursuing a friendship with.  I’m not someone who enters a friendship lightly.

That changed when I became a parent.

For good or ill, I must cast my lot with unknowns, whether it be for birthday parties or play dates or watching soccer practice.

I consider myself to be a gracious, social person.  But nothing has tested my notion of friendship more than the constant game of  musical chairs with other parents.

For a few years, the Munchkin had a really good friend.  We would take that friend with us to trick-or-treat and to the beach and the movies and all sorts of fun places.  The other family would also invite the Munchkin to do fun things and all were having a good time. I was glad to do it, and I felt that in turn, I was forged a fairly good relationship with the other mom.  Now, Other Mom had two older children, so methinks she knew the course our friendship would run a bit better than I did.  As our children became closer, so did we.  We would chat when picking up and dropping off, as well as at school and on the phone when making arrangements. 

When I say that, I mean that we ventured into deeper conversational territory than what we were cooking for dinner that night, if you know what I mean.

Then last year, the friendship between the two children began to fade.  I will never force my child to play with someone he doesn’t want to play with, so other than suggesting some outings with said friend that were rejected, I didn’t push.

I swore, though, that the fact that our children’s friendship was possibly waning didn’t mean Other Mom and myself also had to cease talking.

So I called, and we talked, and everything was fine.

But then, I noticed that I was waiting longer and longer between calls, and Other Mom wasn’t calling me at all.

And that is when I realized that I hadn’t been Aware. 

Other Mom had probably had this happen to her many times prior to this due to her two older children.  Your kid has a friend, and you obviously get to know the parent of the other child if they are hanging out a lot, but it is more a friendship of convenience and forced proximity than something that would have happened organically.  Then when the kids move on, you move on.  There aren’t any hard feelings or deliberate attempts to be hurtful, but one only has so much time in the day.  And how else can you get to know the parents of your child’s new friends when you are busy hanging on to the old ones?


I guess it’s a game I’d rather not play, but at least now I know the rules.

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