Friday, September 10, 2010

The New Kid(s) in Town

"There's talk on the street, it's there to

Remind you, that it doesn't really matter
which side you're on.
You're walking away and they're talking behind you
They will never forget you 'til somebody new comes along
Where you been lately? There's a new kid in town"- 'New Kid in Town, The Eagles
I've been watching my two oldest boys over the past several weeks navigate the waters of being the 'new kids'. In our previous neighborhood there were very few kids that lived in our section, and even fewer that played outdoors, so their friendship forming skills, outside of structured play dates, were rusty.  I've watched with pride and awe as they took the initiative and trotted on their little legs over to the kids next door and introduced themselves. Their whole demeanor screamed 'Like me', 'please don't reject me'. I held my breath for them, wondering would they be accepted or spurned; because  as much as we as parents say that we just want our kids to be comfortable with who they are, we all secretly hope they aren't ostracized for it.  Now I have to fight to get them inside for meals, baths, etc. They have formed fast friends with the kids and spend every moment possible with them. I remember that ease of friendship where all that was necessary was a common location and a game of tag.  How soon that all changes.
I've discussed before how anti-social I am, the truth is I just don't like most people. I've never been particularly cheery or had a sunny disposition, what can I say some of us are just born to scoff, snark, and spew angst on the parade.  Don't get me wrong, I don't want to change that about myself. I wear the title 'smuggest bitch in the world' (thanks Mad Men) with pride.  It isn't that I think I am better than anyone else, it is just most of the time I can't be bothered to form the friendship.  I have my friends to whom I am fiercely loyal, and who are equally so to me. I'm always open to adding a new member into the fold, but I just am not very good at pursuing friendship. I love my 'twitter filter' that enables me to put myself out there and be my hateful self. 
When we decided to make our temporary move permanent it was to allow our sons a piece of the life we remembered so fondly. To give them a life in a small town with all of its charm and faults, to make a real life here in the community for them and ourselves. So now is the point where I decide how involved I want to be in my new old town. I am learning to balance the new life with the old life. I still want to be a part of Lexington community, but I know I cannot just sit back and watch in Paris either. I have to play a part in what happens, and it is just a matter of finding out where I am needed here. I know it will be a big adjustment learning to deal with the small town gossip again, I wasn't immune to it then so I certainly will not be now. Surely I can manage it with better grace at 31 than I did at 18. (Here's to hoping)  This is the part where I learn how to balance what I know with the unknown. Where I strike out against my anti-social tendencies to be a part of the community I once again call home. 

1 comment:

  1. This probably requires a full on blog post response, but for now I'll just leave a big ass comment!

    First of all, we really must spend more time together! The more you write, the more I see how alike we are. :)

    I too am an anti-social. One who's married to someone who must always be entertained and around other people, and had a daughter who's a social butterfly and never met anyone she didn't like.

    I don't like most people either. I have very high standards. And I cannot do what I call "put on the fake". If I don't like you, you know it. I might not be outright mean, but I won't pretend.

    When Mini was a toddler, I lived on a military base, and it was torture. I avoided everyone. I have avoided playgrounds in general her whole life so I wouldn't have to make friends. I was a painfully shy child, and never completely grew out of it. That coupled with a host of abandonment issues, results in me not truly opening up to many people. Don't get me wrong, I'll tell you my life story (as you see!) but emotionally I refuse to be vulnerable. Too much fear.

    I worry about passing that on to my children because I'm not friends with other moms. And I don't know how to be. I have always been a young mom too, which never helped. Mini doesn't have any really close friends, and she's almost 8. I wonder how much of that is my fault.

    Well, I've gone on too long, but I sympathize completely, and I wish you all the luck in the world being back in Paris. And for all my anti-social, we must have dinner or brunch or something at our house soon, kids and all. You're just a hop, skip and a jump away now!