Friday, December 20, 2013

Tales of a Working Mom: Social Skills Learned from a Toddler

I attended a meeting last night for my daughter’s school. It was a policy council meeting where we discussed matters relevant to the governance of the school as well as how to engage more parents in volunteering.  Andre is actually the parent representative. I’m the alternate. He had a conflict, so I dutifully served.
 
It was typical of most meetings I attend. There was a lot of chatter, that I thought could have been streamlined. Since creating this blog, I have become brutal about the use of unnecessary words.
“Kill your darlings”, a phrase that means that a writer should delete the most self-indulgent passages of a work in order to make it better, resonates with me. So, I tend to get bored and frustrated by meetings that last too long. That being said, nobody could question the passion of the participants. Everyone in attendance, from the staff to the parents to the community volunteers were all present because they believed that they were making a difference. And that belief made them verbose...

My daughter is convinced that every small person is her friend

The most interesting part of the night for me was watching my daughter make friends.  When we entered the room and she saw two other little girls she became convinced that they wanted to be her friend. She acted on that belief by discarding her coat, running over to them and embracing them. And the funny thing is they responded by returning her embrace and inviting her to play.  Then, they broke out in song!
 

I Should Resist Being Self-Absorbed and Make New Friends

 
In contrast, I walked over to a chair, sat down and began checking my Twitter and Facebook Accounts. I was tired from working all day and wasn’t really in the mood to make friends.  I know that I used to be like the toddler. I used to view the world as a place full of wonder and potential new relationships. Lately, probably because I barely have time to foster my existing friends, I am less social and perhaps at times slightly rude.  I am constantly focused on how to maximize my time, which sometimes causes me to minimize human interaction.
Observing my daughter, I was reminded that every person you meet is interesting for their own sake. And even if you never see them again, having a good time at a meeting is better than watching the clock tick and counting all of the unnecessary words!
 
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