If you think about it for a moment our social circles and whom we choose to associate is largely our choice. We may not have a choice when it comes to family and work, but we do have a choice when it comes to our friends, acquaintances, etc. Not so when you have children.
Dirrty Feather and I went to the park this morning and today it finally dawned on me after the experience that I was excluded from a social circle. Until you have kids, you can't begin to fathom or understand the entirely different world that exists around them. There are rules, and norms, and yes social circles. You really don't get to decide who you want to be friends with, you do it more based on whether or not your child gets along with their child and then you either get lucky or tolerate them.
The social circle this morning was comprised entirely of women who were chatting about the magic blanket that could soothe a fussy newborn, who was going to Vail for the summer and what a wonderful play date this was. No talk was directed at me. Maybe because as I later figured (in my head) that I had two strikes against me: one I was a man and two, maybe to them it looked liked I was just taking a day off to give the stay at home mom a respite. Or maybe they thought that I did not want to chat that I was not included or even asked. Probably figured that I had nothing of any value to add. Not true, if asked I could have demonstrated my technique for burritoing a baby to ensure no fussing. Maybe not, but this is where it starts on the playground where our children pick up on what we do and use it as a framework for who they are to become.
In dirrty feather's maybe mind all she cared about was getting her fair share on the swing, but she was taking it all in and learning about social circles in her own little way.