When your neighborhood is full of teachers, including the high school principal, and you are invited to a ladies’ bunko night, you cringe. You cringe if you are a homeschool mom, because you KNOW that every conversation is going to surround high school/grade school events at the schools.
No matter how much you try to be excited about how well the high school football team is doing; or how interested you are to hear about the homecoming dance; or how much you sympathize with those soccer parents for the exhaustingly long and wet seasons of year-round soccer, you are not going to fit in.
You don’t want to fit in.
You just also don’t want to stand in the corner of the room, draining a glass of punch, while you listen to all of the conversations around you, feeling like that black sheep in the crowd.
I love being the black sheep. Just not in a crowd of parents who are excited about things that you are so thankful for not having to participate in.
It is a relief to not have to worry about your kids getting drunk after the dance. It is a relief to know your kids won’t be getting pregnant in high school. It is a relief to know that your kids are not growing up too fast in those mature, adult-like worlds. It is a relief to not have to sit in the cold rain again for those games. (We did so often in community sports.) It is a relief to not PRESSURE my kids to WIN the next football game. Kids have enough pressure in school. It is a relief to not have to test my kids every week on all of the subjects that they are in. (My kids are EXCITED about the subjects that they are learning. Tests would squash that right out of them.) Adding the pressure of whether or not your school has a winning team, is ludicrous to me. I know. I am a black sheep.
I snap out of my run of zoning out and drowning in punch when, again, I get the often asked question of when will my kids go back to school. Also, the winning question of, how in the world will they go to college, and without a class ranking! Let’s not get into the socializing subject. As if my kids don’t socialize in the neighborhood nearly every day, or in gymnastics, or at art, or during dance, or when participating in their preschool classes at the YMCA, or at the library, or on errands in the community with people of ALL ages, or on playdates, or in soccer, or at swim….you get it.
BLAH! Enough already!
After an hour of endless chit-chat about our offspring dating and winning, we sit down to play Bunco. Yeah! Now they have to sit next to me and interact on a mutual subject. Until it is all about what the last neighborhood party was about; what the teachers are doing now; what sorority everyone was in.
By the way, I was in one. I thought that I should prove myself wrong in what I thought of them. I didn’t prove anything different to myself. I got out after one semester. It is great for those that are into that sort of environment. They do great things for the community. I just felt so…suffocated and controlled.
I suppose the way I felt at Bunco night, is the way adults who have no kids may feel like. I suppose this is what people who have tried to have kids, but couldn’t, feel like. I suppose this is part of the world of parents whose only children have passed away early. Black sheep.
I have avoided these get-togethers for this reason. It is icky. You come away feeling deflated and elated at the same time. Deflated because you have wasted a beautiful evening that could have been spent drinking wine with your spouse, or playing a board game with your kids. Elated because you have only spent a few hours in a world, that you realize, you would wither in if you had to spend your parental life participating in.
We were those school parents until October of 3rd and 1st grades. I still remember the day I pulled our kids out of school. They still did community sports, but it did not have the intensity of high school sports at that age.
It was one of the best days of our lives.
**I DO understand that MANY kids LOVE sports and winning! It is GREAT for their self-esteem, health, and over-all social stance in society. It is AWESOME that SO MANY parents SUPPORT their kids at those hundreds of games, rain or shine. THEY should! Go get-em friends! I am SUPER EXCITED that it works for YOU! It just doesn’t work for us, or the millions (yes, millions) of homeschooled kids in the United States alone. That is why I wrote about our side, for once, after my night of Bunco, which my friend, so graciously and thoughtfully, invited me to. She is a sweetheart, really! We will just keep our friendship to a glass of wine at the fire pit.