Thursday, October 18, 2012

I Need a Play Date

A few years ago, I didn’t even know what a play date was. First time I heard it, it sounded kind of weird.

Now it’s one of the first words I hear after meeting parents with similarly aged children. We should do a play date.

While I used to resist such things, say “sure lets,” but never really plan to call. Now, I snatch up play date offers like they are rare pieces of gold.

You mean you want to interact with me while our kids run around like the little demons they are (sometimes). You betcha. Just say when. How about tomorrow?

As parents of young children, my wife and I find one of the hardest things to do is to make friends. I know it sounds weird. What the heck do I need friends for, right. Well, after a while the people you have been friends with kind of disperse. Some move, some have kids, some don’t. Others have kids and even live nearby, but you never see them because everyone is just so busy.

I ran into an old friend from way back a few days ago. He has kids too, around the same age, and he lives within a few miles – though it is the next school district over. After we parted, saying we should get together, I did the math on the last time we got together. It was four years before. Clearly, we aren’t going to be getting together any time soon – at least not with regularity.

Yet, you need friends. My wife and I are solid and close. But I imagine she gets sick of me every once and a while. Besides, she likes to do boring stuff like shop and knit. I like to fish and drink beer. You know, guy stuff.

We certainly need friends. But making new friends is hard for people like us. By that I mean people with several children. So what do we do?

We have committed to finding and making new friends. But how?

The Answer: Play dates.

The parents who ask us to have play dates are the same ones we are likely to see at all the kid-centric events for the next few years – at soccer games, school gatherings, the library. They would make perfect friends, right?

So, whenever a play date is offered, we jump at the chance. Unsuspecting parents come over to get a break from the monotony of their own parenthood and fall onto our list of potential friends.

So far, it seems to be working. We are still in the play date phase with a few couples. But one of these days we hope to become actual friends.

Here's other articles you may enjoy: 5 Signs Your Child Has Become a “Tweener”, My Kid Wants and iPhone, and I Don’t Know What To Do, and Learning Lessons from a Little Boy.

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