I still have those huge insecurities of how I look to others. How am I perceived? I have never felt like "the cool kid". I have always felt a little bit off, a little bit on the outside. I have gained a lot of confidence in myself in the last 20 years but sometimes those feelings of wanting to be "the cool kid" are still there. For example, with Laci's friends mothers. I want to be their friends. I don't know why. I only see them when I pick Laci up from school passing in the hallway or the occasional birthday party. I had a playdate with one of Laci's school friends and her mom a few weeks ago. I like this mom. She is really nice, friendly and personable. But I had myself all worked up about it. It was worse than a first date! Where we would meet, what time, who was invited, what would I wear. Good grief. But it went fine. The girls got along well and the mom and I got along well. I hope we can do it again this spring. I love spring when we can have play dates at the park - so easy.
One day last fall, the kids and I went for a walk. We walked out of our house at the same time our neighbor and her kids were about to take a walk. Suddenly I was 15 again and not sure how cool or uncool I was. Do I invite them to walk with us? Do we walk the other direction? She had their dogs. Maybe they were meeting up with someone else. Maybe they had a mission. I didn't want to be the annoying neighbor who pops up whenever they go outside. So I tried to go the other way. But Laci insisted on following and trying to catch up with them. It was so awkward. We were a few houses behind them the whole walk! I was finally able to turn and we all ended up at the park together and the kids all played.
Birthday parties are the worst. I just want to be the cool parents that sit and chat. Do I invite myself to talk to the other mothers. Do I sit alone? I usually do a bit of both. I am not the friendliest or most outgoing person. I try but it is hard. The last party she was invited to I agonized over whether or not I should stay at the party. At what age do kids just get dropped off? The girls whose birthday it was for was just dropped off at Laci's party last fall. Maybe the expectation was to just drop off. I had no idea! I told Laci that if other parents were staying, I would stay. Otherwise, I was going to go. It was about half and half. So I stayed with two other parents. Two other kids were just dropped off. I worry about the goofiest things. Laci was just invited to another party next month. This is for the girl who I have labeled "the cool kid". Her parents always seem so put together. She and her sister show up every morning in the cutest, most coordinated outfits - usually complete with matching shoes or boots. Their hair is perfectly curled and put up. My children appear at school in the morning with clothes and shoes on. That is usually a victory for me. If their clothes match, it is just a bonus. The stars have to align just right for their hair to be combed. As soon as I got the invitation, I started worrying about what gift to give her. I want to make sure we get a "cool" enough gift - nothing to babyish. We have been to enough parties that I am starting to see what the kids are into. I loved Laci's party because she got to try a lot of new things that she received as gifts that I may not have given her - like Barbies and craft kits. So we will probably get her Barbies or craft kits. I just hope it is "cool" enough. More importantly, I hope that I just stop agonizing over these silly little details! Laci doesn't care about this stuff at all. She doesn't know there are "cool kids" and outcasts. They are just all friends. I have learned to be myself in so many aspects of my life. I just hope friendships with other mothers is something else I can eventually get confidence in and just grow up a little bit!