Yesterday as I picked Sj up from school I could tell from the look in her eyes way across the soccer field as she walked to my car, it wasn't a good day. She somewhat angrily bounced her feet through the snow. While I did receive a slight smile and wave the body language clearly told me she wasn't happy.
As easily as her backpack fell from her shoulders, so were the tears from her eyes. She sat across from me in the front seat, while my car was still parked, and just had to let it all out. Her day was awful.
This is year three we've been dealing with girl drama in her class. The one red flag I would wave to any parent contemplating a multi-age classroom is the pitfalls of spending three years together, if there are issues with friendships. It's a tough sea to navigate especially when you have a daughter that carries a large weight on her shoulders when there isn't resolve. She wants to know why she's being treated so unfairly and the majority of the time, she didn't do anything in particular, it's like exclusion on a whim. While the details of what exactly happened aren't really my focus, a piece of me breaks every time there are these spats. I always agree with her that it's not fair.
After having these conversations many times, I looked deep into her blue eyes and just told her how I truly feel. Friendships are difficult, friendships are not guaranteed to be tried and true, friendships are always evolving and changing. I still have to come to terms with the hurt from friendships after decades of experience, there isn't always an answer as to why. She was surprised to learn the hurt doesn't stop even when you are a grown woman.
Whispers and glares can be intimidating and create an environment that is very distracting. To me, giving power to the negativity is the first issue that has to be worked through. Today is day one. The day where I encouraged my daughter to say hello and leave it at that. To look around the room for other girls and boys, that she finds a common bond or interest. To make her school work her top priority. To embrace the kindness she easily gives to others, to embrace how she loves to help others. I don't want her to take on the weight of this negativity until she snaps with unkind words or even actions. I tell her that I believe in her and I adore her personality. She is worthy of kind friends and lasting friendships. She is. Just this one time I want kindness to win out...