Friday, February 8, 2013
Middle School part 2
I sorta feel like gymnastics/private school is my repeat of middle school. I would prefer to opt out of the social stuff but this time around its my social kid who needs me to put my social butterfly wings on. I have realized that every black mother at gymnastics has her kid(s) in private school. Many of the parents of other races also are in private, but I have spoken to every black parent and know that each one is in private and at leat one in home school. When we first went to the gym, I chatted with a black mother who was from L.A. and had actually taken gymastics at TR's L.A. gym as a kid. We toured a school, that we chose not to apply to and the same woman was there volunteering in her child's kindergarten class. We spoke. When we met I told her we had scheduled a tour at the school her daughter attended. We usually spoke at gymnastics. The woman was listed as a parent to contact for prospective families. I called her and she never called back. That was back in December. Today I saw her again after not seeing her since December and she intentionally ignored me. So odd. I wonder if she is upset because TR and her daughter spent a day in the same class. After TR's first class, TR was moved to pre-team. I notice the parents of the competitive kids talk to each other and the recreation kids parents talk to each other. The gym has all competive kids on one side, so if a parent is looking to the left, you know their kid is competitive. The competitive team parents spend more days and hours at the gym, so the formation of groups is somewhat natural. I have always liked to talk to random people at random times, so getting in a clique is not in my makeup. I like to sit and talk with parents, but because the kids are split, I end up being unable to watch TR if I choose to chat with a recreation parent, because if a recreation parent is watching their kid, I would have to turn my back to that parent to watch TR. There is also a seating issue. You move you lose. I might bring a portable chair. This might give me the flexibility to mingle. QT dropped out of gymnastics at the end of January, so now my only reason to sit on the recreation side, is to talk to people. I don't think QT really liked gymnastics. He liked his teacher and she left (I suspect she went to the circus) and he said that now that his friend was gone he did not want to do the sport. The class was not cheap, so I did not argue with him. I asked for a refund! I am pleased my 2 year old will tell me he doesn't want to do something. Last week at gymnastics I spoke to a grandmother who has a granddaughter at the school we applied to. Today the girl's mother brought the child. The mother and I spoke and she said she had also disliked the school we did not apply to. She said she left that school's tour early. This whole private school- gymnastics situation has shown me that I will likely have to continue seeing the same people. I have to participate in this social game because TR's personality seeks to make friends and socialize. I used to take TR to gymnastics with just enough time to start class. After she notified me of her desire to be white I have began getting her there at least 10-15 minutes early so she can socialize with her teammates. I can tell that she feels more a part of the group now. Her teammates greet her, they play and they talk before class. I am pleased to know the exclusion she may have felt was not about skin but about time to socialize before practice. When I was growing up, I got to class right before the bell rang or shortly after. My siblings would get out of the car early to socialize. I would remain in the warm car and have my mother drop me off as close to my classroom door as possible. I am the same as an adult. It's interesting because I am the same type of social media person. I notice bloggers socialize by tweet and other networks, and I miss a lot of back stories and relationship building. Blog cliques form, and I just want to read blogs without having an alliance or allegiance. I want TR to be social but I don't want her to place high value on friendships. Both my maternal and paternal grandmothers always taught that we didn't have friends. We can be friendly and socialize but your family is what you have. This social media behavior kids engage in makes me want to enforce to my kids that they do not have friends. If they know people are not a friend, an insulting tweet won't have them pondering suicide. Words hurt but unkind words from friends hurt more. I remember reading a blog and the author had said something like, butterflies die when I write. I had exchanged emails with that blogger and was surprised to know she thought that. That stung a little and surprised me a lot. If adults have blog and twitter wars, and if adults publicize private conversations on the internet to be mean, I know kids will worse and kids will be very affected by unkind things publicized. I will play the social game but I will make sure TR understands it is a game. Family is who you build your friendships with. And stay off twitter and away from twits who tweet mean things. QT is reserved like me. TR is social like her daddy. I think TR values her friends and will be hurt by unkind actions. QT will keep distance from people and will not be surprised by their behavior. I think life is harder for social women, because a man will see you down and walk away. Women see you down and want an audience as the plunge a knife in your gut and twist it. But that is just my unscientific opinion as I ponder ways to get TR not to be too concerned or focused with what people think or say about her.