This school year is, obviously, like no other before.
The decision to send our daughter to preschool was difficult, and I had a lot of reservations leading up to the first day of preschool. The obvious: Will she get sick? Will she bring home the virus and get our family sick? Will things feel dire and be difficult? Will we have to shut down again?
And then there was one other concern: How will I get to know other parents this year?
I am an introvert. I don’t put myself out there to make new friends, and making mom friends is hard as it is. But one of the great things about sending my kid to preschool is the sense of community.
Luckily, the school is doing an excellent job. One of their new COVID policies is that parents are not supposed come into the school building. Everyone drops their children off in car line, and everyone picks their children up in car line. Because of this, I haven’t been able to learn faces and names quite as easily as I have in previous years. There’s no quick small talk as we stand outside the classroom. We don’t have the same kind of connection.
While I sit in my car, waiting, I look around and barely see other parents through tinted windows. I wave at the teachers in passing. I squint my eyes to see if I recognize any of the names on the tags hanging from the rearview mirrors.
But a few weeks ago, I looked behind my car and spotted a mom I met last year. I, being the awkward person I am, messaged her on Instagram to tell her I was waving to her. She saw my message and waved back!
This might seem a little silly, and maybe you’re a social butterfly already setting up a lot of playdates. But for me, this was just a minute of connection I was happy to have after six long months.
Moms, let’s roll down our windows for a second. Reach out to moms you don’t know yet. We’re going to have to try extra hard to create new connections for awhile, but we still need it.
At the very least, I’ll wave to you in the car line!