Monday, June 06, 2005


My neighborhood playground seems to have a lot going for it -- it has lots of fun equipment (safely embedded in wood mulch of the appropriate depth), it's surrounded by an expansive field and what passes for woods in this slice of overdeveloped suburbia, and it's a quick walk from our house.

What seems to be missing are children.

Almost every time we go to the playground, we find ourselves alone. It's kind of spooky. Every now and then another set of young kids might be there, or perhaps a few adolescent girls hanging out on the swings before they depart to the woods (I really don't want to know what goes on back there)..

Sean and Allie don't seem to mind -- they have a lot of fun no matter who is there. I am on the fence. Although with time I have grown more comfortable with the various skills needed to socialize with others, I am still, at heart, shy and introverted. Striking up conversations with strangers, even those with small children in tow, makes me feel like all my flaws are glowing radioactively. Like the general problem I seem to have with speaking. I can cobble together some reasonably coherent sentences when I'm writing, but in conversation I leave the impression that English is not my native language. When you combine this with the difficulty inherent in conducting any type of social interaction while simultaneously saving two toddlers from plunging off the playset -- well, you get the picture.

But. Still. Aren't playgrounds supposed to be teeming with kids? I read other bloggers' accounts of all the people they've gotten to know at the playground and am rather envious of the convivial atmosphere. Perhaps things are looking up, though. On today's excursion I actually met a fellow SAHM with kids around the same age as mine. She seemed very friendly, and I think we might meet up again some time. Maybe that's the ideal situation for me -- a small group of kids and parents that can make the playground a friendlier place but won't drain my limited social reserves!