Saturday, November 29, 2008

"Leave her alone! She's my friend."

Ky came home from school the other day with a frown, when I asked what was wrong she said "no one would play with me". One of the saddest parts of being a mom is the part when your little one gets teased or snubbed and you just have to stand idly by.

Maybe it's because I'm her mom or maybe it's because I can remember what it's like, but her
frowny face made my heart just ache.

I can remember feeling a like when my mom and I moved during my 3rd grade year. The first day seemed to be going well, I liked my teacher, I didn't feel too behind, and by recess I had been invited to hang out with a group of kids. They seemed so much older than the 8 year olds I was used to. They hung out with kids of the opposite sex, some were even holding hands and their swearing could put a sailor to shame.

That first day, I was told that "I acted like a
lady", it sounded like a compliment, but something in my gut told me it was not. From there I was dared, and taunted to also take up swearing. After enough goading, I'm sad to say there on the monkey bars in a shaky voice I uttered my first B@#$%. Shameful, I know. And, you guessed it, those kids didn't even think I was cool after that, they just went about their teasing and taunting.

By the end of that week, I'd been dragged out to the school yard by my
hair, and just as my life flashed before my eyes and the contents of my lunch nearly made a return, a really cool 3rd grader, stood up and heroically said: "Leave her alone, she's my friend!" I will never forget those words as long as I live! I had been rescued, someone heard my prayer! It was straight out of an ABC After School Special. What an amazing little 8 year old, to have the guts to stand up and do what was right, and here I am 20 years later and I still remember this act of kindness. As sad as that experience probably was at the time, it made me want to be brave like that girl, to be kind to others and stand up for what is right even when it's hard.

As natural as it is to want to save your kids from the heartaches of childhood, trials mold and shape us. While I didn't care for being the "New Kid" year after year, I really feel like it taught me compassion for others, and how to notice people and help serve them. So, on that note, I'll just try to make Ky feel included at home, and quit having daydreams about threating small children.


Dorienne said...

I dread this stage when we watch our kids go out into the world/school where we can't be there to defend them 24/7. Poor little Ky. She is a real sweetheart.

Amber said...

Sweet post, Stephanie. I bet it helps your poor little girl to know that you've been in her shoes. Just teach her that the best way to gain a friend is to be a friend. :)

Kristen said...

What is with grade 2/3? Those were my trying years too. The nice thing is I think it makes us stronger -- and more willing to include others.

Elizabeth Cranmer said...

I don't know that I have ever told you this before or not. But Steph you have such a great way with words! I love hearing your perspective and stories. Poor Ky, she'll make one heck of a Mom, wife, woman etc. one day. For now she's one spunky little girl who obviously has a good Mom because at the end of the day she seems toknow exactly who Kyanne is!

Scott and Lorri said...

I work with this age and it's always intresting that there is a child in every class that always gets picked on by a bully or two or more. It is so frustrating to teachers because the parents don't do anything to the bullies and the picked on child has to deal with it. What really bothers me is that those scars never leave. I still hate my big lips to this day.
With a Mom like you your daugter will be just fine. You really have a way of teaching her.

MARTHA said...

Wow Steph, I know that heartache you're talking about. Wish I could do something for little Ky too. "She's my friend!"

Stacey said...

This was funny because of how well written it was. It's so well done that I'm sure anyone who reads it will be able to immediately picture in their minds their worst elementary school nightmare. Strangely, those days really do make an impact even as adults. It made me chuckle to think of the elementary days when fruit snacks were like money on the bartering level.
Anyway, part 2 is it really is sad. I cannot stand it when Porter gets left out and it's true, you just want the absolute best for your children. Unfortunately, chocolate chip cookies don't cure everything...