Your child is born. They are perfect pure little beings. You cradle them. You comfort them and provide the very best you can render yourself to give. Soon, these perfect pure babies grow into toddlers and later to school age children and suddenly you realize that your arms can only protect them so far.
My six-year-old daughter came home from school recently eager to share news.
“Guess what, Mommy!” Classmate “told me today that everything bad she said about me doesn’t count anymore and I can be her friend”.
A knife through my chest would have hurt less than what I felt as she continued with her tale. What was even more painful was seeing her delight in the news. She was not the least bit upset that this classmate was speaking poorly of her but rather thrilled to have a new friend. My immediate reaction of horror was followed by countless questions. “What mean things did classmate say?” “Has classmate been saying hurtful things all year long or is this more recent”. Much to my surprise, with her bright, happy eyes my daughter said what classmate said didn’t matter. What mattered was that they were friends.
Having mean things said about you was a rite of passage for your middle or high school years. I am clearly wrong. It starts so young.
Despite my urge to intervene, I did the best I could to appear supportive. There are just certain things that I cannot fix and I realize this is not the first or the last time we will have this conversation. I only hope that she will always share her news with me and her response remains pure and innocent as I wrap my arms around her.