I went to the Stammtisch of the Dartmouth German Club last night, and had a blast. (A Stammtisch is a “regular’s table” at a pub.) I met a bunch of people, including a Dutch grad student who offered to babysit for us on occasion, and I made contact with a group of people who play soccer at Dartmouth twice a week for fun.
Most of the evening, we spoke German, but I also had a chance to use my slightly rusty Dutch, and the amount of polyglots in the group was truly impressive. There were native-level speakers of German, English, Dutch, French, and Portuguese sitting in my vicinity, and there were probably other languages represented in the group as well.
One of the big drawbacks of being a stay-at-home parent is the social isolation. We don’t have family up here, and I’m in the house with the kids most of the week. I don’t really get to go out and do stuff, meet people, or have fun without the kids, and whenever I do get to socialize a bit, it reminds me how important it is to have the occasional adult conversation that doesn’t revolve around Thomas the Tank Engine, bedtimes, and dietary requests involving dessert after (or in lieu of) lunch.