Tuesday, August 7, 2012

People come in our life for a reason

New sports seasons brings new families and the possibilities of new friendships. Years ago, I tried to get to know all the parents on the team and chat with them in hopes of making new friendships. I was often left with the feeling that people just didn't like me. I generally would be the one initiating the conversation. And then I would here the stories about the various families on the team getting together, hanging out and having BBQ. Our family never being invited. I was hurt that we were not invited.

My solution was to stop trying to befriend everyone. For the last two years, we have kept to ourselves. We would say hello and be cordial. During practices, I would be found at the playground playing with my other two children rather than sitting with other parents. During game times, we would sit away from everyone. It was a different experience that is for sure. I was able to enjoy the game more and didn't have to listen to parents complaining about the coaches or any other B.S/gossip going around the field. Also, the parents didn't have to listen to me trying to start a conversation with them. I admit, I can be a talker.

This summer session of Basketball was no different. I was cordial but kept to myself. But a funny thing happened this season. We were at a Basketball game and my neighbors should up to support my daughter and watch her play. As we were enjoying the game, my neighbor mentions, "There are my neighbors that live behind us on the next street over." I was surprised. I mentioned that they were on our team. I am not sure why but I seized the opportunity. I walked over to the parent and asked if she lived on "such and such" street. (I don't want to name any names of people or streets to keep things confidential). The parent replied, "Yes we do." I mentioned that we live right around the corner from each other and that it would be great if we could get the kids together for a play date. Our kids are very close in age.

I was elated when she agreed that we should get together. Our first play date went off without any problems and it was a great feeling watching all the kids getting along, having a blast and listening to their laughter. Eight kids total ranging from age ten to two and a half. Not only did the kids hit it off, but so did the other parent and I. As we were talking during our first play date the subject of school came up and I found out that the kids were being home schooled. (No these kids were not socially awkward or pale in color. They looked and acted like typical kids but better behaved and respectful. But that is another topic).

My husband and I had previously discussed home schooling for the simple fact that my son struggles in school. Neither my husband or I felt confident that it was something that I could handle and we moved away from the subject at that time and I hadn't thought about it. I had done a little bit of research and spoken to many online friends that home school. Hearing these kids were home schooled made the wheels start rolling again in my head. I have to say that being able to sit with someone face to face, get your questions answered and be able to interact with kids that were home schooled really opened my eyes and but put the topic back on the table for my family.

For the next few days there was a ton of discussion with my husband and kids about home schooling and whether or not it was right for us. My conversation with my new friend helped me to answer this question. My answer was, "I don't know if it is right for us, but I am willing to jump in with both feet and try my best. If if it doesn't work out we can always go back to traditional school."

Someone once said, "We don't know what we don't know." What a true statement. We must try new and different things to see if it will work for us. Most importantly, we all need to keep an open mind about everything. Just because we are always told something is a certain way doesn't necessarily mean it has to be that way. If you find what you are doing isn't working for you or your family then it is time to find something that does work. I am willing to find what does work. Am I scared? Of course I am. Am I worried I might fail? Absolutely. What person wouldn't feel that way going into uncharted waters?

We decided that we would be foolish not to try. And now our adventure begins............

This is the second posting in a series of posting to come regarding Children and Education. I am not an expert, just a parent trying to do my part.

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