Tonight we’re going to “transition night” at Owen’s new daycare. The new daycare is organized more like a school than our current daycare, in that the kids are in classes that move from one classroom to the next as a group, rather than moving up to the next classroom one by one as they reach a certain age. So the kids in each class are a little unit, and they stay with their friends as they grow up and move classrooms. When they go off to kindergarten at the public school, presumably most of their daycare friends will be there too! It’s pretty sweet to think about Owen having little buddies that he’ll grow up with and be friends with since they were 1.
As the kids grow up together, the parents kind of do too. So the “transition night” is a way for the parents of the kids in each class to get to know each other and give them a chance to meet the teacher of the new classroom as they move up a “grade” every June (for instance, from Infants to Older Infants, and Older Infants to Toddler I). The fact that we’re starting at this new daycare in early June is actually really nice, because Owen will become a part of the class at a normal changeover period.
I’m kind of excited to meet the other parents.
You see, we currently live in the city. And while we live in close proximity to a lot of people, and wave hi and bye to a lot of people while we’re out on walks, we don’t really know them. We don’t know most of our neighbors’ names, even though we see them when we’re all out shoveling snow or rushing off to work in the morning. We certainly could never call them up and ask them to watch Owen for an hour or to borrow a cup of milk. We moved here 5 years ago when we were young and didn’t have a dog or a baby, and didn’t take the time to meet them. Then as time went on it seemed too weird to go back and ask their names or get to know them. So we ended up blindly waving at them and smiling, once in awhile exchanging a short conversation about the weather or why the trash didn’t get picked up. Same with the other parents at our current daycare. We all drop off and pick up at different times, we’re all rushing to/from work or trying to catch a bus or the T. We smile and nod as we pass each other, but never really stop to talk.
I’m ready to use this move as a clean slate. I’m going to engage. I’m going to meet neighbors and make friends with the parents of Owen’s friends and work really hard to create a new (and different) social life for us in our new house and new town and new school. I think it’s easier when you have a baby, because interactions and playdates sort of just happen, and I can only imagine that most other parents are wishing for a real friendship to develop from a kids’ friendship as well. And although it sounds cliche, maybe things really ARE different in the ‘burbs.
So fingers crossed we meet some new friends tonight!