One of my overriding memories of school, is being surrounded by a kind of white noise. This is the noise of other people’s conversations. Difficult to distinguish or make sense of, it’s easier to tune it out. I thought I’d left this behind until…
When my daughter was younger, a lot of the mums in the waiting room wouldn’t have conversations with each other. It was the norm to sit quietly, speaking only to your own toddler, waiting for the moment you all had to get up and go in to class. Now, my daughter is in a group for bigger kids, and the mums get to wait in the waiting room while the children jump, balance, spin, sing, dance, run, throw things, roly poly, swing, and perform triple pike turns or whatever.
So, every week, I am sitting on a plastic chair, uncomfortably close to other mothers for an hour and I am almost always the only one not talking. I take a kindle. I try to ignore the buzz. Occasionally I look around and feel sorry for myself, or wonder if I’m doing something wrong.
No. I am still not part of the buzz. But I can’t help it. To do things differently would be like trying to move a boulder with a feather.
If I can accept my limitations, and live happily that way, I can show my daughter a good example. I don’t want her to think she has to torture herself to fit in, so why should I put myself under that pressure?
At the last class, I wandered into the hallway to check on my daughter’s progress. It was really just to be somewhere a bit quieter. By chance, another mum came out and spoke to me really nicely. She asked how my daughter was getting on and I asked after hers. Our children have been in the same class for ages.
It felt good to have that small interaction. That is enough for me. Just enough to prove I am a worthy human being, with just a slightly different brain.