Wednesday, August 12, 2009

That whole socialization thing

Today was actually hot. We went to the beach.

It was packed and hard to find a patch of sand to plop down on, but we made it work. Spongebob blanket spread out, cooler settled, sandals off...and just like that, they are gone.

Not just gone, as in off to the water. But gone. As in talking to everyone within a two mile radius. Interacting. Making up games and playing and laughing and running and soaking up the goodness that is other people. Various topics of conversations, with various people, included:

"Wanna play volleyball?"
"Do you watch Teen Titans..."
"Wanna play soccer? Wanna make teams?"
"Do you want to play Splashwars? But if you don't want to, that's ok, too."
and on
and on
and on
and on

In fact, on and on so much, that something questionable happened. Yes, don't tell anyone, but I started thinking that perhaps they were...dare I say...too social.

What? Two homeschooled children? ****

I found myself trying to figure out a way to gently advise the boys its not necessary to strike up a conversation with someone simply because they have a pulse. It is not required of you to make a greeting like comment when passing by anything that breathes. It is actually possible to be around other people and not have to engage them in a meaningful (or not) discussion.

Then again, why am I so concerned? Why does it bother me that they want to talk to everyone.

Oh yes, that's right. Because generally speaking, I don't want to talk to everyone under the sun. Not even half the people under the sun at the beach that day. Not even the two teenage type boy men who walked past and said whatever it was that they thought I'd be impressed with. I wasn't. I didn't want to talk to them.

My kids would have though.

Somehow, two not-quite-social beings conceived and bore two very social monsters. And sometimes I'm not sure just what to do with them.

I have to remember, this isn't really a bad thing. Kids who can be in a room with someone else and not have to size up the situation for two hours before saying a quiet "hi" are actually a blessing, I'm sure. I keep thinking of all the times I'd sat in the corner with nothing to say because I was too afraid of what someone would think of me and what I had said. All the people I didn't meet. All the friendships that never happened because one or both of us were too caught up in the whatever-the-word-is to get up and start a freaking conversation.

My kids don't have that issue. How amazing to walk onto the beach and see a sandy shore exploding with potential friends. I've never quite seen it that way before.

And that's kind of a bummer. For me, I mean.

I don't think I have anything to worry about with that whole socialization thing. Except perhaps a little tact, and a few directions regarding body language and when others might be ready to end a conversation.

But the simple love of chattin' it up with others...they've got that taken care of.

You know, I'm not sure we will ever win that socialization thing, anyway.

If my kids sit in a corner, they will be pegged as those homeschoolers. You know, they are too freaked out by the real world to know how to talk to anyone. Its such a shame, them sitting by themselves like that...

If my kids, on the other hand, have no issue talking your damn ear off, its immediately those homeschoolers. You know, they're so starved for attention and socialization in the real world, that they will talk to anyone or anything that moves.

Yeah, we just can't win.


MamaLou said...

socialization is a four letter word! I love your ending thoughts, damned if you do....damned if you don't!

Stephanie said...

I was thinking that the other day, too.
That it could be viewed as "so starved for attention that they'll talk to anyone".
Too bad. Let 'em think it. Gotta let the babes grow into themselves as best we can.
I'll leave it to the adult (or whomever) to say "You talk to much. Go away." :)

Green Mamma said...

Prior to pregnancy, for many, many years I became an introvert; not really wanting to strike up a conversation or a friendship with a stranger . . . now, man, I talk with everyone. I mean everyone. I found babysitters to help out when the baby arrives, I've found other parents who live nearby and who seem pretty cool; it's amazed me how much bigger the world seems due to these social pregnancy hormones, lol.

As for worry over what anyone else is thinking about you or your kids' socialization skills, I say, "F them." As in, forget them. Your kids don't seem bothered by what anyone else is thinking; why should you devote your time and energy to it?

topsytechie said...

And then you can have two boys who are one of each. Yep, that's me. One social butterfly. One don't-knock-on-my-closed-door-unless-the-house-is-on-fire. Let the non-homeschoolers try to figure THAT one out!!

mamak said...

You know I never thought that people would see them as they are starved for attention, cause my kids are like yours! Damned if you do,....

Jennifer said...

My kids are the same way, and I always think that too. The other day we were in Walmart and a little girl said Hi to Ainsley. I asked her why she didn't say Hi and she says "well you're always yelling at me for talking to strangers!" hehe