I'm not so good at making and keeping friends. I think I lack the normal social skills. It doesn't bother me so much except that I see Ryan struggling and I don't know how to help. I don't want him hanging around the older kids in the neighborhood. (They seem unsupervised and trouble-makers.) And other kids are younger. They are only a couple of years younger and they do play with Ryan. But mostly I see Ryan just hanging around them like a fifth wheel. I'm not sure he understands their games and they don't know to explain them to Ryan.

I remember a few friends when I was growing up. I never really gave it much thought. There were some kids on the block and sometimes we played together. There was never anyone I had to see everyday. I was good at playing on my own.

I made friends in school but rarely saw anyone outside of school. Almost everyone else lived in Detroit and I wasn't allowed to just go over there. And when my mom started working at the school, my sister and I became latchkey kids. We had to go directly home and stay inside until mom got home. This led to me watching lots of TV and my sister on the phone.

In high school, friendships were already formed and I was the outsider. I made a few friends, one of which I still have to this day. But the whole thing does not come naturally to me.

I still have trouble meeting and making friends. I guess I am shy or unsure of what to say. The internet is a big help because you can take your time and try to make a good first impression. When we moved down here, I wanted and needed to make friends. Joining the MOMS club helped a lot. I made some wonderful friends who really helped me when I needed it. Unfortunately, most of my good friends have moved away. And we don't keep in touch like we should. And I have let some friendships slide over the years falling to exchanging Christmas cards and photos of our kids.

Neighbors are another thing. I thought they could be good friends, close friends. Maybe they can. I haven't seen it happen to me yet. There are 2 neighbors of mine. They are good friends with each other. They are friendly to me but I still feel like the outsider. Not always sure what to say. Always having to feel apologetic for the behavior of my kids. Being left out of their outings.

I think friendship is going to be one of those things that I have to keep working on.