Where Is Your Camp?

I think it's human nature for us to feel like we belong. To be a part of something bigger. It feels like it's a never ending search to find others like you. In this search, we come to realize that there are different camps of people. I hate to relate this to high school cliques, but in a way, that's what it is. In high school, you have the "popular" kids - jocks, cheerleaders. Then there's the goth kids, the geeks... I could go on and on, but I'm sure you know what I'm talking about.

I never really considered myself to be in a clique in high school. I had my group of friends - we got along great, could shoot the breeze together, and we would help each other out, whether it be with personal or academic matters. I had no desire to be mixed in with the cheerleaders - too perky for me. I wasn't a jock, unless you consider driving to Lenny's, I mean Denny's to eat breakfast at midnight! But I guess looking back, I was in my own little clique.

Now that I'm all grown up, at least according to the numbers, I fin myself wanting to be part of a clique. I think I may have stumbled upon my camp. I realized this after a few conversations this past week.

Last Sunday, GG had a birthday party to go to. She is at the point where I can usually drop her off and then return when the party is over. But this party was a pool party. GG can't really swim yet, so it takes her a while to get used to being in the water. Except for the school's pool party a month ago, we really haven't been in the pool for 6 months or so. I knew she wold feel more comfortable with me staying, so I dropped her off, ran home to do a few things, and returned for the last 2 hours of the party. Of course once I returned she paid me no mind, which is always the case. So I ended up talking to other moms who also stayed.

There were 4 of us chit-chatting. Our kids all have the same teacher so we spent a good bit of time discussing her. 3 of us have daughters in Scouts so we talked about that. There were also some other topics of conversation in the mix. Then the other 3 started talking about their jobs - how they have to figure out how and when to schedule vacation days, where their kids go in the summer while they work, and other typical job complaints.

In my mind, i do work. Being a stay-at-home mom is a full time job in my opinion. Plus overtime. The pay is just in a different form. Some working moms don't care. They may envy you, ask you why you made the decision to stay home, and some don't even care if you work or not. These moms apparently cared. I didn't come right out and say I stay at home, but they all know I do. Now I used to work and believe me I have a long list of complaints. And I can relate to balancing home and work. I would try to throw my 2 cents into the conversation, but once work was brought up, I seemed invisible. Was I suddenly the too perky cheerleader that I never liked? I think I may have been!

Now these are not ladies that I could hang out with on the weekends, but knowing you have things in common and can have an adult conversation is definitely a comfort. We also have other differences - they are older than me, but I've come to learn that many moms at GG's school are. We also have different lines of thinking. For example, one lady from that group at the pool thinks it's ok to wear mom jeans. As a matter of fact, I think she may have invented them! I do have other (trivial) issues with this lady, but that's beside the point. We have things in common, so even if we aren't in the same social group, we can take comfort in being able to have a good conversation.

I'd like to think that they see me as better than they are, but I know that's not the case. It's probably the reverse. But I can push those thoughts aside, because I am slowly realizing that I do have a camp I can go to. I haven't hit the point of feeling completely comfortable to be able to call one of the group n the phone just to say "hi", but it is definitely not out of the picture. I don't feel that I have to be someone else when I'm with them and I don't get that "oh crap, I probably should say something" feeling when we run into one another at the grocery store.

Finding good friendships takes time, patience, and being yourself, but they will come.

How about you? Do have a camp of your own?

Until next time...


Kmama said...

I always rode the wave between camps when I was in school. I was an athlete, a cheerleader, a geek, a band geek, and popular. I had friends from every circle, but never really felt that I BELONGED in any of them.

Finding where you fit in is really difficult. I still struggle with it, and I laugh at myself when I thought that all this would be easier when we got out of school.

The Mommyologist said...

I think that I have a couple of camps! I have my mom-friend camp, my high-school friend camp, and now my bloggy camp! It took a while to weed out the fakers in the mom camp, but now I've finally got it down to a few good ones!

Mrs. Sanchez said...

I am in dire need of a camp. I was an athlete in high school and I lost part of my identity when I lost that.

I'm working on finding my camp. :) Friendships do take time and patience.

I found you via FF and am following.

Follow back at http://jotgiveaways.blogspot.com

The Princess of Sarcasm said...

I hate cliques. We are good friends with some of the richest most influential people in our community, but we are also good friends with some of the youngest, financially struggling people here as well. Some work, some stay at home, some do a little of both. I find our common denominator is our kids. We are all going through the same kind of stuff. My criteria for my clique is to be kind, funny, fair, devoted to your family, and non judgemental. Oh...and non crazy. (The bad crazy...not the good crazy.) LOL

Elena Sonnino said...

I think that I am a bit of a fish out of water between several camps... I know that I need to dedicate more time and energy in order to be a full fledged member of any of them. My most recent camp I think is the blogger camp--slowly but surely,I feel as if I am developing some relationships with other bloggy types which is so much fun!

Anonymous said...

I feel the lack sometimes more than others. Mostly I like having my best friend sleeping with me every night, and that is my priority--to make sure the man whose name I took *remains* my best friend. I know exactly how you feel, though; I tried a couple of times to edge my way into an existing group of moms and I spent the entire time trying to withhold myself from pointing out all the ways in which their philosophies differed from mine. Not sure what the final solution is. Facebook? Blog communities? LOL.