I’m finding myself in a situation that I’m totally unprepared for. One that I was expecting down the line, yes, but not now, not this soon. Some time after your baby is born you might have flashes of your child as an adolescent in school and wonder what’s in store – will she be popular? Will she be unpopular? Picked on? Considered the weird one and ostracized? Ganged up on? The last to be chosen for a team? What? All of this stuff SUCKS and we probably all have some recollection of the angst related to growing up as we navigated our way around social lessons. One of the perks of being an adult is that you don’t have to deal with this crap anymore (hopefully).
I never thought I had to worry about Mia. She’s always been confident, gregarious, an extrovert and could instantly make friends wherever we went. I always thought Claudine would be the kid I’d have to worry about since she is shy in public and takes a long time to open up to people. But here we are, already dealing with an antagonistic situation and the heartache of suddenly having a friend drop you, of being told that you’re not wanted or liked, and not having a best friend in class while others have all paired up in twos.
Mia’s a strong kid. She’s resilient and not easily bothered by things, but she is also fiery and “overly-friendly” to the point where she could be overbearing. I know this. And lately I’m seeing some of her confidence start to wane just a little. It’s hard to know what’s really going on at school and a little piece of me wonders if she bends the story or leaves out details so that the situation is more sympathetic towards her. I just don’t know. But when your kid is telling you that she spent most of recess by herself in her “lonely place”, well, that just breaks your heart.
So how do you deal other than to talk to your kid, the teacher and the other parent? You can’t control what’s going on when you’re not there. YOU’RE NOT ALWAYS GOING TO BE THERE. And let’s be honest – kids, especially girls, can be mean. So viciously mean. It makes you want to gather up your kid in your arms and cast a protective invisible forcefield around them so that any meanness just pings right off. You don’t want this for your child. Ever. And the thought that I have a large part in how this little person who will grow up to be an adult someday will handle all these hard lessons in life? Terrifying, especially when you’re trying to get your own shit together.