Sunday, August 06, 2006

Will they be like me?

John and Shannon are fairly new to our church community. They've been visiting for about 6 weeks or so. They are super nice. Unfortunately, John's job has been "downsized" and they may have to move to Birmingham. Sad. So today, our Sunday school class (yes, we are all adults!) was talking about friendships. John was telling us about he's moved 21 times in his life (he's only in his late 30's) and how he's so good at adjusting and making new friends. But Shannon, he says, is less comfortable moving to a new place and making new friends. I knew I liked that woman.

I am painfully shy. When people have known me for a while, like the folks I sing with in Praise Team, they don't usually believe me when I say that. But it is true. I HATE meeting new people. I am so afraid of what they are going to think of me: my hair, makeup, clothes, shoes, etc. It's paralyzing! You can ask my husband, I don't even like running errands. Like, I make him go out and pick up pizzas or Chinese, because I don't like to deal with strangers. I have even been known to make him CALL to order the pizza, because I don't even want to have to TALK to new people on the phone. I know, it's weird. I know, I'm a grown woman. It's completely irrational, and I don't know really what to do about it. It seems even more strange when you consider the fact that I teach school for a living. I meet new people all the time. I have to call parents, meet them on PTO nights, work with people I don't know. Also strange that I am a
Mary Kay consultant, and am supposed to go out and meet new people. ("Supposed to" is the key word in that sentence.)

And now, I've signed up for a lifetime of moving and having to meet new people. My husband is in Seminary. That means he's studying to be an ordained minister. We are Methodist. This means, when he is done with school, some District Superintendent is going to assign him to a church. We get zero input. Then, probably every three to four years, he is going to get assigned to a new church. Forever! It's like a nightmare for me.

Here's my question: Will my children also have this irrational fear of strangers and aversion to making new friends? It took me about 1 and 1/2 years to make any friends once I moved here. I don't want that to happen to my boys. So far, at not-quite-4 and not-quite-2, they are very outgoing. Especially Bennett, my baby, who will go up to just about anyone and hug them around the legs. He knows no strangers. While that may end up not being such a great thing, right now it's cute. Anyway, will they stay this way? Or will they sit at home reading and avoiding the public, much like their mother does now? Oh, how I worry.

By the way, Colby is doing really well after his surgery. We went and picked out his new bookbag (
Ninja Turtles) and lunchbox (Disney's Cars) for school. He is so cute! I think he would wear the bookbag all day if we'd let him. If only he'd stay this enthusiastic about school forever!


Christina_the_wench said...

LOTS of social activity for you and them. Playgrounds are the best. My daughters always seem to make 'For today friends' there. It helped them realize there is a world outside our home and that other kids can be fun to play with and that they don't have to hang on mom all the time. Gives you a chance to talk to the other moms as well. Just a thought. =)

Mrs. CPA said...

Came here through CHBM.

Anyway, if your SS friends really are moving to Birmingham, if you would like to send them my way, we would be happy to have them. We are Methodist and have a great church in the downtown area (and my husband and I both keep the nursery). My email is on my blogger profile if you feel so inclined.

Oh, and I worry all the time about passing on my shyness to my child. I thought maybe he would help me break out of my shell but he really hasn't. I hope he will get his people skills from his Dad, and not me.

kat said...

well, i'm a preachers' kid (yes, that's plural for both) and we moved around a lot and it's been fine for me. i get itchy feet faster than others. i am good at saying goodbye to friendships that aren't really intimate which makes for not many friends. yet, the friends that i have are lovely, and my immediate family is wonderfully close.

as for the shyness i don't really know. i am an introvert yet can carry a conversation with anyone. the conversations are just about them and not me.