I'm not the best at meeting new people (or spending time with old friends, for that matter). Instead, I spend the majority of most days holed up in the comfort of my home, where I live and work, happily avoiding the rest of the world unless I'm in the middle of my very necessary morning coffee run. I'm an introvert by nature, and prefer being alone instead of in the middle of a crowd, but there are some ways my kid actually helped me make friends and, well, I guess I'm OK with that. The occasional conversation outside of my beloved laptop can't be all that bad, can it?
My daughter was born the exact opposite of me. With her outgoing, extroverted personality, it's nearly impossible to avoid striking up a conversation with a table full of strangers whenever we're out and about. Technically, this was more true when she was younger and chattier, although she's only slightly more reserved in public spaces now that puberty has rolled on in. Those times I sat awkwardly through her dance class's parent watch night, or trekked through a school open house, she forced me so far out of my comfort zone I wasn't sure if I'd ever leave the house again.
There came a point where I didn't have to make a first move — or any kind of move — to be social, simply because my daughter did it for me. I hadn't realized how isolated I'd become until her personality unwittingly connected me with some of her friends' parents. I fought my need to be anti-social because, with every circumstance, she showed me it's not that bad and that maybe, just maybe, I'd actually like making new friends. With that, here's some ways my girl helped me come out of my shell and meet new people at times I didn't think it was possible. Between you and me, I guess you could say she's somewhat a "magic worker."