hello there other adult

I was sitting on one of those tiny chairs designed specifically for children and surrounded by grown-ups. This wasn’t years ago, this was days ago. I was at a parent meeting at Gem’s preschool on a Monday night at 7.30. I didn’t arrive late but everyone else had arrived early. All the adult chairs were taken so not only was I sitting in a kids chair but I was also at the front of the semi-circle. I now know why everyone arrived early. Everyone around me I had to look up to and they really did look a lot more grown up. They looked like they were adults with kids and important business jobs. After this meeting they would likely be off to an expensive restaurant to talk about politics and drink expensive wine, possibly even ones in excess of twenty dollars a bottle, a concept I find hard to fathom. It probably didn’t help that I was also the only one carrying an exercise book and pen to take notes. 
 
 When the content of the meeting was revealed it turned out it didn’t affect my family that much but some of the parents were very annoyed. Again this made me feel out of place. Adults have some seriously strong opinions about things and I normally only take decisions seriously when standing in a bottle shop. 
 
 We also recently went and had a look at a school we might send Gem to next year. We stood around while the kids did activities. I wanted to say hello to people but where do you start? “Hello there other adult! You and your partner appear to have created a human about the same time we did. We probably have lots in common based on that one thing!’’ 
 
 I worry about my daughter having to go to school and being in a brand new situation having to meet lots of new people. I was holding her at one point and I said do you want me to put you down? She said “Yes I want to go and play with those girls.’’ These are people she had never seen before. We were once at a pub half way between Sydney and Queensland that had a little play area. Gem became friends with everyone in there within minutes. When we left she had to say goodbye and hug each person. When it comes to her starting school next year I really have nothing to worry about. 
 
 Perhaps if she knew a little more she’d be worried about me. Will my Dad be able to make friends with the other Dads? Will they have Dad things to talk about? Will the likely awkward meet and greets with the parents of her new found friends work out? What if we don’t like them? Should I tell my kids about these concerns I have and burden them with the awkwardness of being an adult? Do you remember being a teenager and being terribly awkward? Isn’t it great we grow out of that? Well we pretty much grow out of it. We pretend we’ve grown out if it. 
 
 More on adult awkwardness in a few weeks. 
 
 James

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