I need help. I’m still pretty new to this parenting thing and I’m even newer to the sport of socializing with other parents. I just don’t know how to do it.
Finn started playing T-Ball a few weeks ago. He LOVES it. He’s a natural. And he’s making all kinds of new friends. He has no fear of walking up to someone – anyone – and starting a conversation. He’s a natural at that too!
I’m sure most kids are like this when they’re young. At some point in our lives though, we become self conscious and, for a lot of people, talking to strangers and meeting new people becomes scary. OK, at least that happened to me.
I’ve come out of my shell a bit in my old age and I’m not as scared any more to strike up a conversation with someone I don’t know. Perhaps it’s that I have kids now and I feel like I have something to talk about. I’ve never been good at small talk but when there’s a common thread like my children involved, it’s a lot easier.
Now back to T-Ball. The first day was a Skills and Drills day. Basically just a chance to get together, meet the teammates and see what this thing called T-Ball was all about. All the parents were milling about and I took the opportunity to chat with a few of them. We exchanged our stories and our names and enjoyed a little barbeque with the kids after they were done with their drills. Fun!
Fast forward to the first game Two.Days.Later. I emphasize the time frame because really? I’m that forgettable? How can someone who I just had lunch with not recognize me less than 48 HOURS LATER? When I said hello to one of the mothers she barely acknowledged me. Same with another. I was so excited to meet some new people and my bubble was thoroughly burst.
So tell me: Am I naïve to think that a casual conversation and a common thread could lead to a (gasp) friendship? Do people not interact with other parents at these events? I don’t know what the proper protocol is in situations like these and I’m feeling very self conscious again…