So one week in to my eldest daughter starting school and I feel like the new girl at school. Every day just before 3pm I walk up to the school and sit outside the classroom like all the other parents.
There are a few familiar faces of parents from kindy and playgroup who smile and say hello but at the moment I don’t know any of the parents of children in the same class, but they all seem to know each other!
After a week I have realised that one of the advantages of living where we do is that there is a real sense of community. And one of the reasons I know this is the case is that the vast majority of people here grew up here, went to that school and stayed here. For the first time in a long time I feel like the outsider, but I’m determined not to be.
They went to school together, they had children around the same time, some of these people have known each other all their lives. Even my daughter’s teacher went to that school. I try hard to imagine what it would be like if I still lived where I grew up. I can’t.
But I will be brave. I will chat, I will smile. I will suggest play dates, I will go to birthday parties. I hope I will make a connection with someone and discover we have more in common that just having kids the same age. It’s not too much to hope for, is it?
So, it’s nearly that time of day again; into the wild I go. It’s not just the children who need to make new friends, it’s the parents too.