chilli started fall soccer this week. in our 100 degree heat (i'm not complaining) we get to watch chilli run around like a crazy fool and maybe kick the ball once or twice. he is, shall we say, just in it for the fun. he doesn't really care. that makes me happy. because with an attitude like that, he will always have fun. it's one of the must frustrating and wonderful things about that kid. top that off with an ability at socializing and making friends, and you can see why he begged to play this year.
me on the other hand, well, i'm not quite like chilli. i am competitive, and i am not a natural at socializing. that is quite obvious from the opposing team. it was made up of most of the rest of the 6 year olds from our ward. the parents sort of have a thing going on. and whether we live on the wrong street, or we just aren't as outgoing as the rest, well, you get the idea.
sometimes, when i see how excluded i am, i really am thankful. mostly because that means i don't have to worry about changing who i am to fit in. i know i'm kinda quirky. i know i am NOT cool, by all means. but the pull is very real to fit in. when i am not in the group, i am almost grateful. seriously. sure, who like to be excluded? but when you think about it, i just know i wouldn't fit in. i wouldn't be able to be the real me. i'd always be wondering if what i was saying was stupid, or if my hair and nails and stiletto heels looked okay, if my butt was too big, or if i wasn't sending my kids to the right preschool.
the other side of the coin is this... i see pretty much the entirety of the ward and neighborhood 6 year olds out there, and i think that my poor son is being punished for me. because of my socializing ineptitude, my son won't fit in. because i don't fit in with the ward's inner ring, my kids are probably missing out on playmates. no matter what i do, my children will notice. they do notice. when most of the primary classes are on the opposing team, as well as the best friend and cousin, well...that sort of stinks.
big d reminded me that isn't not a big deal. they will get their own experiences and be able to do the same kinds of things, only it will be with people who do actually like them. and it will probably be when they are older and i'm not around to mess things up. i think he's right.
i certainly don't want to change who i am, nor do i want my kids to have to as well. do i want them to see me change who i am? i know the "inner ring" folks aren't having meetings to exclude, nor are they secretly plotting against my children. it's just how life works. sooner or later my kids are going to learn that life lesson, it might as well be sooner when i can be around and show them it doesn't really matter. it's better to be who you are than be who you aren't.