"Make new friends, but keep the old.
One is silver and the other is gold."
That song has been in my head all week as I have been emailing back and forth with friends in Canada and continuing to connect with new friends here in Scotland.
When we first arrived a few months ago, I was eager to make friends with lots of other moms and babies in the area but my ambition soon waned. Sebby & I went to one playgroup and one sling meet (a babywearing community) but both were a half hour walk from home, during Sebby's morning nap and too long for Sebby's age (he got tired & cranky and fell asleep in the carrier on the way home). However, my main issue with both was that neither was super welcoming so it was hard to be motivated to go back....
...so we didn't!
I did make friends one other mom, Anna, who lives around the corner, with her little ones, Eva (2) & Archie (4 months). We get together about once a week to go to the park if the weather is nice or if its raining, we go to each others places.
Sebby & Eva having a great time at the park!
Anna is friendly and easy to talk to and I look forward to getting together with her! However, I knew that I wanted to make a few more friends, especially since Anna and her husband are hoping to move to a bigger place in the suburbs.
Lately, I have started to get more involved in church and that has helped me get over my inertia in the friend-making department. A lot has happened in the past month, actually:
- I joined a Bible Read Through Group with three wonderful girls from church. We meet Wednesdays at 7:30am and it is one of the highlights of my week. Sebby does pretty well too, even though he ends up being woken up early then cooped up in the corner of a coffee shop for an hour every week.
- A few weeks ago, Sebby & I went to a Mom & Baby get-together morning and enjoyed connecting with some of the moms from church.
- Last weekend we went to a retreat where we got to know lots of lovely people from church. It was such a blessing to see Sebby getting so much love from the girls and was a refreshing time spiritually as well.
Sebby enjoyed getting outside and seeing the chickens at the retreat centre!
- Over the past few weeks, I have been convicted about my need to be more intentional about giving of myself to serve God and people so this week I took the opportunity to bring meals to two families from our church who recently had babies. It was a joy to put the food together and to connect with each of the families for a few minutes while giving it to them.
All of these things have made me feel much more at home in the community here and today was the icing on the cake!
Earlier this week, we bumped into a lady on the street, who I had met in the park about a month ago. She is also new to the area and was telling me that she had recently found a playgroup right down the street from our place (less than 5 minute walk!). She said that it was fun and the moms there were very friendly. I decided that I would try to go this week.
Sebby & I went to check out the playgroup today and it was awesome! I wasn't 100% sure where it was but saw a mom walking with a stroller so ran to catch up with her and asked her if she was going to the playgroup. When she turned around, I recognized her! We had met on the street near our place over a month ago and turns out she helps run the playgroup. She said when she arrived home after meeting Sebby & I, she regretted not having invited us to the group and was thankful that we had found it.
We had a wonderful time meeting the moms and kids. Many live two or three streets away from us and most were extremely friendly. I had at least five moms approach me to introduce themselves and ask if I was there for the first time so I felt really welcome. The group is relaxed with light programming but lots of free time for the kids to play and parents to chat. Sebby had fun and so did I! We will definitely go back!
I am really thankful that I am starting to feel more integrated into the community here in the West End of Glasgow and know that I am already in the process of building some great friendships!