One of the biggest perks of our recent cross country move is the opportunities our new town has for homeschoolers. 

There are groups for classes and groups for just field trips.  Groups for moms and groups for kids.  Sports teams and community ed and, good golly, they can take lessons in just about any instrument their little heart desires.

It's exciting for a family that lived a good 30 minutes from anything like it back in Georgia.

Recently I was telling a friend about how happy I was to get the kids enrolled in a local enrichment school, "It's going to be so good for them to have some..."

Just as the word is about to roll off my tongue, I stopped myself.

Good Lord, Nicole.  Don't say that!

That dreaded, please don't ask me about it, oh man you're going to ask me about it, word.


Because, honestly, I'm on board with the whole "we socialize our dogs, we educate our children" meme.  Real socialization, or ability to interact with others in an appropriate way, happens out in the real World.

Talking to the cashier at the grocery store or an elderly person we happen to sit by at the park.

I don't believe that the best place for that to happen is in a classroom with 25 other kids their exact age.

However.  Oh, here comes a however.

I do think it's important for kids to know how to be social with kids their own age.  And recently, I've noticed that my 7 year old can hold a conversation with an adult like nobody's business, but where she struggles is with other 7 year olds.  She gets nervous and bossy and I cringe listening to the whole thing.

So while I am not quite ready to utter the words "I'm excited to socialize my kids," I can tell you I'm excited to socialize them in this new way.

We are one month in and we've already had countless conversations about different situations she's been in.  She's learning that it's important to take turns and to look out for the underdog.  I see hard edges softening and it's pretty awesome to witness.

The kids aren't the only ones needing peer to peer socialization.

Back in Georgia, I had a solid group of friends that had been doing life right next to me for ten years.  

We got married around the same time, started families around the same time.  It was like having an automatic playdate available at any given moment.  Late nights on the back porch just because were common and we loved it.

I'll be totally honest here and tell you that the one and only part of our move that I'm struggling with is making friends.  I'm trying to be gentle on myself because, hello, we've only been here for two months, but I miss my Village.  I miss random hangouts and the ease of it all. 

In the past couple of weeks I've gotten proactive about finding myself some friends.  I joined a women's group at church and a local homeschool group and there are women my age in our neighborhood.  But it's hard to strike up friendships.  I feel like I'm dating and, Lord, did I hate dating  I just want to skip that awkward getting to know each other stage. 

Or just move all of my old friends here.  Whichever is easier.


Danielle Huddleston said...

I remember when I was homeschooled, that field trips and events with other homeschoolers was such a relief. I was not an oddity, I was not quizzed, or looked at as odd because I did not attend public school. Having friends that were homeschooled also let me just be me without worrying. That is why I make sure my boys get that to. It is nice to feel normal.