As a result, there were times when I started to question my goal in coordinating the camp to begin with. I felt a little like a glorified babysitter. I charged a nominal fee to cover the cost of materials but otherwise, there was no financial gain on my part. I wanted to teach my children about our heritage and as I would be planning activities and gathering materials for my two, it was just as easy to include others. As we homeschool, it was an opportunity for my children to experience learning in a group setting.
When parents arrived to drop-off or pick-up their children, they would mingle with one another, sharing tales of their summer activities, and make plans for playdates or excursions together. We weren't included. Even my children noticed and upon our drive home asked, "Why doesn't anyone ride with us?" "Are we going to go to the playdate, too?"
I explained to the kids that everyone has circles of friends. Some are small - friends with whom we are closest and have the most in common. We see one another frequently. Other circles are large - friends of friends. Those we see only occasionally.
While this explanation worked for them... I was still troubled. My circle of friends has always been small. I don't have many close friends. Those I am closest to, with the exception of two, are not geographically close and this thereby prevents us from seeing one another frequently. Seeing the moms this week, whose friendship is obviously intimate, made me feel a little twinge of jealousy. I felt old feelings from junior high resurface. I felt unsure of myself.
Later that evening, I expressed my observations to DH and shared that we had felt left out. He then questioned why I bother to plan all these activities (Heritage Camp, Art Camp in Aug, Roots & Shoots Club, etc.) if it isn't reciprocated. "They are taking advantage of you." I hope that isn't true. I wonder though, if it comes across as though I am trying to 'buy their friendship'. If I didn't plan these activities and invite them, I wouldn't see them otherwise.