Becoming more social

We had been at the Ontario Science Centre for two and a half hours, and A- had done most of her favourite activities already. When she saw H- together with Melissa (H-‘s mom), though, she hopped up and down with excitement. She even took H-‘s hand for a bit. Then the pair chased each other around the kids’ area while I scrambled to keep eyes on both of them. After that, there was the usual dance of separate activities and joint ones. Melissa and I waved hello in passing, carried on fragmented conversations, and texted location updates whenever our kiddos looked like they were going to be in one place for a short while.

There was even one segment of extended playing together. H- pretended to be a doctor, A- pretended to be a nurse, and I was their poor beleaguered patient who was not allowed to get well. (“Thank you for the medicine. I feel all better now.” “No, you’re still sick.” “Oh no! I’m so sick.”) We kept at it for quite a while.

We stayed all the way until the science centre closed. A- slept soundly on the way home, all tired out from six hours of fun. I like going to the science centre with friends. A- seems to enjoy it too. The science centre is an hour away, but conversation makes the trip shorter. It’s fun to see the kids interact, too, and I’m learning to enjoy interacting as well.

I’ve been making an effort to be more social by inviting people for field trips or food. A- will learn about social interaction from how I interact with other people, and she’ll develop her own friendships. I hope that when she goes to school, we’ll already be on good terms with a few of her classmates’ families. I can see how friendships have contributed to my sister’s happiness, and I see how I’m slowly getting the hang of things. Not that I feel that friendships are instrumentally good, mind you. One of the things I like about people I consider friends is that it’s nice that they exist. I like that there are people like them. But it does sometimes help to remind myself of the good things about friendships when I’m feeling all homebody-ish or when I’m talking myself out of worrying about rejection.

A- will probably turn out all right no matter what I do. I might as well take advantage of this opportunity to learn a few things that parenting can help me with. Cooking makes sense because I feel strongly motivated to help A- develop good eating habits. Social interaction is another big area that makes perfect sense, since parenting introduces me to lots of people with lots of common ground. Early childhood education is a natural fit, too. So much to learn for both of us!