Tuesday, December 07, 2010

reverb10 day 7: community

Today's reverb10 prompt, from the one of the talented founders of the reverb10 project, Cali Harris:

Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011?

I would say the community I have become more active in this year is the community of daycare parents where Jane goes to school. Jane has been in full-time daycare since she was three months old (the day I dropped her off for the first time was one of the saddest of my life – but of course she is thriving there now and loves it). As any parent with a child in daycare knows, drop offs and pick ups can be very harried and stressed – you’re trying to get to work, they want to show you a special project or book, or, even worse, don’t want to let you go and wail as you fly out the door, wracked with guilt; you’re coming home from work and just desperately want to get to your couch so you can veg out, and they would rather stay a while longer because something great is happening (for Jane, this means playing in the BOUNCY ROOM OF AMAZINGNESS).

I’ve shared passing hellos and goodbyes with many of Jane’s friends’ parents, and had conversations with them at various school parties we have been invited to attend during her three years there so far. But over the past few months, I have had a chance to get to know some of them better, since Jane has been invited to several birthday parties of her main daycare peeps. It’s been very cool to watch her develop close friendships with some of the boys and girls in her class, and to see those friendships change and shift – just a glimpse of what she’ll experience during her years as a student, and the rest of her life, really.

Because she’s so young, I can’t just drop her off at these parties and go on my merry way, of course. So I stay, and have a chance to really get to know the parents of the children she spends all day with. The really great thing is, although we all have different careers and lives, we are all bound by the life of a working parent, the total insanity and rush of every morning and every evening – so we get each other in that sense.

See, sometimes it’s not so easy. Some parents are hard to identify with. (I am not talking about her schoolmates' parents. Just parents in general.)Some parents are hard to like. In a lot of ways, it feels like I’m the one in school – will they like me? Will I like them? Will they think I’m weird? (Well, probably yes to that last question.) It can feel like a test. I haven’t had to worry about stuff like this in many years. And, frankly, I probably shouldn't worry about it now. But I do.

So that’s why I’m glad that this particular community is one I’ve become a part of this year. And will be one of the reasons why, when Jane walks out of daycare for the last time in a year and a half, I will probably be crying as much as I did on that first day.

PS: This reverb10 community ain’t half bad either! : )


Lizz said...

I wish my Max was in a daycare where I could get to know the other parents... it's actually one of the things I'm most looking forward to with him starting preschool next fall; being "forced" into situations where I'll meet similar parents...

Anonymous said...

I'm not a parent yet but I think as a soon-to-be teacher I can see many parents feel the same way you do. Luckily, I'm at an amazing school and it sounds like your daughter is too!

Stereo said...

I'm not a parent but I have always wondered how I would handle the whole daycare/work situation (I'm one that needs to work) and how I would connect with other parents but reading this has given me hope! I've read and heard some horror stories so yours is a breath of fresh air.