I've been very focused on the transitions the boys are going through, adjusting to their new schools. Now that they seem to be happily settled in, I'm recognizing that I'm going through a transition as well. Of course I knew this, but I'm able to give it more thought and attention. I went from working full-time to staying at home full-time. August simply felt like a nice long vacation, so it's only now that the school year has gotten underway that I really feel the change.
When I go to the school for pick-up, I stand in a large cluster of (mostly) moms, as we wait for the go-ahead to enter. I've noticed that they all already seem to know each other. I'm sure their kids went to the same preschools, or they met at a playgroup, or they attended the same music/gymnastics/soccer/fill-in-the-blank class with their kids. Perhaps they are neighbors. I do know a few parents of kids in the school, but they are ones who are still at the office during afternoon pick-up. I've entered an entirely different demographic now, and I feel like I am starting over in so many ways. Don't get me wrong - This is not a bad thing - It's just a change.
I attended a welcome picnic the week before school started, and thankfully one of my friends was able to attend as well. During that event, as during the daily pick-up, I am reminded that I suck at meeting new people in group situations. I loathe the idea of stepping into someone else's conversation, or introducing myself to someone who may be just fine standing alone. There are a couple other "welcome" events this week, and I'm disappointed I am going to miss them; but at the same time, I'm relieved. They are so not my thing.
Last week, I crossed paths with another mom walking her son to school. Her son is in the same grade, and she happens to live about two blocks away from me. We had never met. In this situation, I was easily able to introduce myself, and we chatted during the walk to school and the walk back home. I'll be making that walk every day, so I'm certain our paths will cross again, and I will extend an offer to get coffee after drop-off one day. One on one. For me, this is how friendships are made.