One of the most difficult things about moving is having to find new people to socialize with. The past 11 months (yes, it's already been that long) has really made me value all of my friendships, and not a day goes by that I don't miss my friends who are far away. Going to a new place is exciting and adventurous, but it can also be very lonely when you step outside your house and don't know anyone who lives closer than 600 miles away. Meeting people doesn't happen easily when you don't go to school or work every day. You actually have to work at making new friends. It takes time and effort, and often involves going out of your comfort zone as far as reaching out to people. It's not like when I was 6 and would meet a fellow kindergartner on the playground and 3 and a half minutes later she was my new bff. How do you make new friends as a 29 year-old stay at home mom of 3 little monsters? Thankfully we have things like facebook, meetup.com, and other social media networks that have helped me to form some friendships in my new location.
The best way to make new friends as a mom is obvious: join a mom's group and find some other mommies that have kids close in age to your own kids. So I did just that. And I'm fortunate to finally have a sense of belonging again, and I feel like I'm really making some connections for myself and my kids. (my husband is a whole other story, but I'm working on setting up some playdates for him too!)
I feel that Joey is at an age where he has the ability to make real friends for himself too. It is no longer just a bunch of kids playing with a ton of toys and screaming "mine" at each other. The kids are learning how to talk to one another, make each other laugh, and get along. It is awesome to see him actually enjoying having friends too.
Last week we invited a bunch of our friends over to play in the back yard. Joey and a couple of other 3-year old little boys had a fantastic time running around, climbing stuff, and spraying each other with his cool Buzz Lightyear Sprinkler. My friend Christine told me that her son Christian was especially enthusiastic about the playdate and went on to tell his dad about it later that day. The conversation went something like this:
Christian: "Hey Dad!"
The Dad: "Hi Christian, how was your day today?"
Christian: "It was great. I played with a Buzz Lightyear Rocket Ship!"
The Dad: "Oh, really? Where did you do that?"
Christian: "At my Orange Friend Joey's House."
My Orange Friend! How adorable is that? I just love that Joey already has his own classification in Christian's brain. He is his Orange Friend. That is just too stinkin' cute. I hope they'll be friends for a long long time.