Raising Nice Girls
A few weeks ago my little girl did something not very nice. She scooted her chair away from a friend and said she didn’t want to sit next to her, wanted to sit next to another little girl instead. I couldn’t say anything about it right at that moment but I seethed for the whole class and couldn’t wait to give her a talking to about this. I refuse to have her be one of ‘those’ girls.
This week the same little girl was going to sit a couple seats down from my daughter and my little girl told her to move closer and sit right next to her. Maybe she learned her lesson this time, I hope it sticks for a lifetime. I can pray this as I try to erase the memory of two girls who later ignored my precious daughter, purposely left her out of their games, choosing instead to bestow their approval on two other little girls, giggling and sending furtive glances my daughter’s way all the while.
Again I was left to seethe and sit idly by and watch. This time I couldn’t give a good talking to afterwards. I wish I could tell those girls how badly they were hurting my darling girl, maybe they knew and liked the power, the bit of control as they watched my daughter’s face fall every time they handed out their small gifts to everyone but her.
Yet, I watched her look on and not say anything at all. She is a strong little girl. She never once said a word. She never once asked, “why me.” She never cried into my shoulder. It took all I had not to do all those things for her.
Maybe lessons were learned. Maybe my daughter learned about not so nice girls. Maybe I learned about strong little girls and how to keep raising nice girls in a world of mean ones. Maybe the world will always be hard and sometimes I can bubble wrap my children and sometimes I can’t. I will say that, after all of this happened my daughter got lots of extra hugs and kisses. She probably thought mommy was a little crazy today. I need this part of her world to be the extra loving nice part because I can’t guarantee the rest of the world for her.
Even as my daughter holds her head high, I’m having a hard time reconciling the years of challenges we have in front of us. I’ve never been good at this girl stuff and seeing my daughter go through it is going to be difficult for me. My husband is oblivious to any of it and my son will be doubly so. I’m hoping that these early years, this time I have right now to tell her it’s ok not to need approval from everyone, not to buy into the best friend, the clique, the rotating drama, if I can convince her of that now, hopefully we will have begun something for the future, something that builds on real relationships. That’s what I want for her, I want her to be secure in her own values, her own reality, her own judgement. I want her to rely on God and maybe even, once in a while, us. That may be asking a lot, but I can hope based on what I’ve seen of her strong character and her beautiful nature, it may actually happen. I can also pray, a lot.