On joining in

6 Jul

There are a lot of things I shall miss when we’re away: my bed, English Christmas, friends and family, the Saturday Guardian and Heat.  But some things I’m really looking forward to being without.

I’m not much of a joiner in.   I enjoy doing things with my friends, and I’m as much up for a good night out as the next person, but when it comes to organised stuff I’d rather be somewhere else.  I didn’t rush to join lots of clubs at university, preferring to hang out on the beach, I like swimming, cycling and yoga, but have never been into team sports and as a child I joined the Brownies but quickly got bored of the rules.  I don’t really like large groups of people, preferring a good natter with two or three others.  I’m not completely socially incompetent, I can fake it most of the time, but I’d rather not have to.

I suppose it isn’t really that much of a surprise that someone who choses to travel the world with their children isn’t a conventional joiner inner.   I don’t think that I’m particularly unconventional, but I also feel like I often don’t fit in.

At school things, I make an effort for the children.  I ran in the mothers’ race today with the boys cheering me on as if I was a normal member of society.  I attend some of the evenings out organised for parents and my diary is stuffed full of coffee mornings.  I’ve even been one of the class reps this year for Ned’s class in a blatant attempt to curry favour with the school.  And while I’ve really enjoyed getting to know my fellow rep, and it’s been a good way to work out who’s who, I shan’t be sorry to have a break from the endless PTA meetings, summer fetes, Christmas bazaars and general joining-in-ness  involved.

Next year I shan’t be collecting floats from the office, organising rotas, watching Dads elbow each other in their just-a-bit-of-fun race or getting people to sign teachers’ cards.  I’m looking forward to not having my year planned out in minute detail, thinking about Christmas in September.  Each day will be different.  We’ll be able to change our minds on a whim, blow where the wind takes us, do exactly what we want.  I can  smell freedom.

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24 Responses to “On joining in”

  1. Amy 06/07/2010 at 3:04 pm #

    I bet you would be amazed by how many other mums involved in those events feel exactly the same way!

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 06/07/2010 at 3:06 pm #

      You’re probably right, and I can see the point, you have to join in if you want to be part of a community. But I’d looking forward to the break.

  2. Paula 06/07/2010 at 3:06 pm #

    oh how I wish I was coming with you – freedom smells great…I wonder how many of us feel the same – I know I do, always have but I put it down to my onlyness and transient youth… *sigh* I’ll miss you… xxx

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 06/07/2010 at 3:53 pm #

      I’ve always lived in the same place and have a sibling, so don’t think it’s to do with that. It’s just the way we are. I’ll miss you too, you know that don’t you?

  3. Dulwich divorcee 06/07/2010 at 3:10 pm #

    Oh the bliss of not being answerable to a PTA. Lucky you!

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 06/07/2010 at 3:50 pm #

      I know *cheeky grin*

  4. shar13 06/07/2010 at 3:10 pm #

    I know how you feel, but perhaps that’s why I don’t have many friends now! I never ‘did’ coffee mornings or PTA either and now that the children have grownu up and all the friends I made at playgroup have gone back to their careers, I am stuck with an empty house and empty days. Perhaps I should have made more of an effort.

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 06/07/2010 at 3:51 pm #

      That’s really sad. But you’re making new friends now through blogging… I often think that many friends are transient anyway, they’re there for a certain time in your life, then you both move on. Very few friends are forever. Only the truly special ones.

  5. London City Mum 06/07/2010 at 4:07 pm #

    Room for one more? Please? Will do babysitting duties and can carry bags.

    Can also tell very rude jokes on request. Hands gestures thrown in for free.

    LCM x

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 06/07/2010 at 4:17 pm #

      Well if you’ll do babysitting…

  6. Laura 06/07/2010 at 5:59 pm #

    I can smell it too. I am coming with you via your blog and living your freedom too! Bring it on.

  7. Pants With Names 06/07/2010 at 6:16 pm #

    What is it with the endless round of PTA meetings, summer fetes, sponsored this and that. I’ve only been back 3 months and I’m frightened by it all!

    I’m fighting London City Mum for that spot. I have sharper elbows and do better hand gestures.

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 06/07/2010 at 6:39 pm #

      We could always have a travelling commune…

  8. jfb57 06/07/2010 at 6:34 pm #

    You’ll be sorely missed at school Miss ‘I don’t join in’! You will be joining in here with us because we will want to know everything you are doing! It’s called sharing & you’re great at that!

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 06/07/2010 at 6:41 pm #

      I’m not a loner, and I like being part of the community. But I don’t get a thrill out of conforming. I’d rather do my own thing.

  9. eggscreamandhoney 06/07/2010 at 7:21 pm #

    If I thought about the monetony of my life throughout the school too much it might send my to the loony bin! I so love the school hols just for that reason – we can all be free & just be us. Can’t tell you how envious I am that you are going to get that for almost an entire school year. I have so long to go!

  10. Modern Dilemma 06/07/2010 at 10:43 pm #

    Ok, forget the post for a moment, I’m still processing Paula’s “I’m going to miss you” which sent a chill down my spine. It was the first time I realised we are not all coming along for the ride too. In my head I’d imagined we’d be tweeting and blogging along with you on your travels but really, that is not at all sensible is it? Good grief Wallop I’m so going to miss you. Seriously, you need to seek out some roaming mobile sponsorship so we can all be in touch with the Wallops on Tour. Feeling just a bit glum now.

    As for the post. Well, speaking as the gob-shite of most friendship groups, even I can confess to wanting to run a thousand miles from large groups of women (especially playground based ones) so I do not think you are alone there.

    That smell of freedom is intoxicating. I want some.

    MD xxx

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 07/07/2010 at 8:34 am #

      There is absolutely no way I’m doing this without a computer. I shall be blogging all the way, never fear. Whether I’ll be able to read other blogs and while away afternoons on Twitter is another matter. But if you comment on my blog or send me an email, I shall reply. And that’s a promise x

      • Modern Dilemma 07/07/2010 at 9:03 am #

        Phew! So glad we can come along for the virtual ride. Did I ever tell you about the world’s greatest Dim Sum? Wallop I must INSIST you visit Din Tai Fung in Singapore (or Taiwan if its on the tour). When I die and go to heaven, there will be a tray full of their dim sum waiting for me. No trip to Singers is complete without them. Or Brunch. Have I told yo about Shangri La Brunch?

        Oh man I miss Singers food.

        MD xx

        • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 07/07/2010 at 10:57 am #

          LOVE Singapore food. Any recommendations you have are absolutely more than welcome. You could do me a whole itinerary if you can be bothered.

  11. angelsandurchinsblog 07/07/2010 at 10:14 am #

    Hopefully it will be a different kind of ‘heat’ that you’ll get to enjoy. Love the thought of all that time away from all the things you describe. Not having to plan, get involved with bake sales and all the rest of it. School holidays will have to do the job for me, but I envy your future fresh air sabbatical.

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 07/07/2010 at 10:54 am #

      Can’t wait for hot weather. Love hot weather.

  12. Chris 07/07/2010 at 12:20 pm #

    I am going to miss you too. A lot. *sob*

    Right, back to the post…I’m not a great joiner in either, I do it when it’s expected and unavoidable but I’d really rather not. I’m at my happiest at home with a cup of tea and a good book and I am comfortable with that.
    I love the idea of time off planning, I am a planner (with my lot I have to be)and I do love it when we are away and free of the constraints of the normal week.

    Bit waffly, sorry!

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 07/07/2010 at 5:36 pm #

      Not waffly at all. I’m comfortable with my homeliness too.

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