When my girls were little it was easy to meet new people and make new friends. I met some at the birthing class I took, at the libraries after story time or toddler time, and at the Y when we went to swim lessons. First-time moms not only want new friends, but need them. So often friends from our “old worlds” disappear as we get caught up in the bliss of having a new baby at home. And if more children follow, we’re almost sure to find a need for a whole new social group.
As my girls grow, however, I’m finding it more difficult not only in meeting new mom friends for myself, but also in helping my daughters meet new friends themselves.
I think this speaks to our fast-paced society. It’s not that we don’t see other families out and about. We do. We pass by when we go to dance, gymnastics, and music class, etc. The thing is, we don’t (”we” meaning myself and society at large), take the time to stop and cultivate new relationships because we are so busy “having” to get somewhere else afterward. Our minds seem to constantly be on the next thing, rather than the present moment.
Another thing that has happened to my daughters’ friends from their early years is that many of them went off to school. So the friends we once got together with on a regular basis now have less time to just “hang out” because they have to do all their other things after school.
We do have a small circle of friends we see socially, but I just joined a new and local homeschool group to see if we can expand our circle to include more older kids.
As I do so, and feel the excitement, anticipation and slight anxiety of meeting new people in a new “group” I am comforted by the always-wise words of the founders of the Enki Education curriculum. I read these words last night and they couldn’t have come at a better time.
It is wonderful if a group of like minded parents can form an Enki coop, but this is not likely to be the case for many of us. So what can we do? We can look for the jewels within the chaos of the world around. In and of itself, this attitude is an important one to model for the children. There may be neighborhood children, or church groups, or scout troops, or clubs of all sorts. Sometimes these will not be quite the environment you are hoping for, nor will they share all the values you hold dear. However, we encourage flexibility in choosing social activities, remembering that they are filling one need, not all needs. And sometimes you can bring in aspects of your Enki work to enrich the whole situation.