January and February have been tough. I feel like I was just telling a friend that we have had such a smooth 5th grade year. I should have knocked on wood, I guess. We see the light at the end of the tunnel though and you are stronger and smarter.
You have been devastated and heart broken. What do you do when your best friend of 2 1/2 years, whom you have done everything with, who has been in our home more days than not, just decides one day to not be your friend anymore? You were so brave to pull her aside to tell her you were hurt and confused and she didn’t respect that. She ran away from you and sent two of her new friends over to tell you that she didn’t want to play with you or be your friend anymore. The betrayal and hurt ran so deeply in you. I wanted to fix it for you. Man alive, did I want to fix it for you. Badly. I wanted to meet that girl in the field after school with you and fix it. I could have. She has been a part of our family and I could have been the mediator between the two of you and it would have been resolved in a day.
But, I didn’t. I didn’t because I felt like it was a moment in time and an experience that if I would have fixed it, you would have missed out on life lessons. As badly as I was hurting for you and wanted to take away your sadness and sorrow, I had to let you go through the experience without interfering. You would go to bed and I would weep. It is a tough thing for a mother to see your child so badly hurt and know that day after day I have to send you back into the hurt. Seeing your bff at recess laughing, having a good time with new friends. Having those new friends stick their tongues out at you and give you evil glances. Seeing them huddled together at recess and having them all look at you and laugh letting you know that they are talking about you. Having your other two closest friends take a sudden interest in your bff and her new group and watching them all play together while you sit alone in the background. I am so sorry that you had to go through this sweet girl. I am so sorry for your loneliness and hurt.
I knew time was the only thing that would heal your heart. We did a few things to help pass the time. On really bad days, after you got it all out, we would go get blizzards. Ice cream always helps. You invited many new friends over to play. Your heart still yearned for your bff, but you tried hard to connect with a new friend. We had mall dates and some fun holidays. You were happy with your new friendships and were cautious in looking for a true friend.
After a month of this, time was working in your favor and it was getting easier. You were happy again, but I could tell that you still needed some closure. I thought, as an adult, if I had a friendship end suddenly like this with no explanation, no big fight, I would want closure too. I suggested you write her a letter to mail. That way, it would not be passed around at school between all the new friends. Your letter was sweet and you poured your broken heart out. You told her you just didn’t understand and that you would always remember the laughter and good times you had together. It took a couple of days for her to get the letter, but I knew the day she did. You came running across the field with a smile on your face and I knew. She wrote you a letter back and you hugged each other and both cried in the hallway.
It has been a couple of weeks since that day. I am glad that the heavy sadness is gone from your heart, but I am more glad about the things you learned about yourself and about friendship. You can do hard things. You can go up to someone’s face and tell them how you feel. You can have your heart broken and survive. You understand better that sometimes there is no explanation to how girls behave. Maybe you wear the wrong clothes. Maybe you play the wrong sports. Maybe you still play with toys. Maybe it is their own fear of not fitting in. Maybe it is jealousy. When you said to me, “I will never treat a friend the way I was treated, no matter what,” I again thought, I could have fixed the situation, but this right here, what you just said, is why I didn’t.
You and your former bff are on friendly terms now. I can tell that you are protecting your heart from her. You tell me that you like her and miss her, but you don’t feel like she is a true friend because she could just decide to not be your friend again tomorrow for no reason. You have forgiven her, you have such a kind heart.
We have experienced a new kind of heart break together. You are stronger now, I see it in you every day. I am so proud of how you handled yourself in this situation. You are a better friend now. You are ever more passionate about including everyone. During this experience, one day you came home and said that a girl in your class was crying because she felt like she had no friends. You said, “I probably wouldn’t have noticed if I was off playing with bff. But, because I knew exactly how she felt, I cheered her up and I played with her all recesses.” You now have another new friend.
As a mother, it is so hard to step back and let your child hurt. To let them live through hard experiences and make them face those situations everyday at school. I will admit that I checked out three books on homeschooling and was researching all day which one we were going to do. It was too painful to send her into the lion’s den everyday. But I did and I am glad that I did because she is now a better and stronger person because of it.
During this friendship hardship, your school work load has been insane. Your teacher is less than patient and sometimes just plain mean. Which has not helped the overall situation at all. I have talked to your teacher too many times and I have decided that it is just useless. She lacks sensitivity and when a teacher says on many occasions, “I don’t have time to help you, go ask a classmate,” (for reals) I wonder why she is a teacher. We don’t like her and you don’t click with her. It is our first experience with a teacher that we haven’t cared for, but through it all, you have done well. Your huge president report (which you were the first one to choose out of the hat and you got Obama which you were not excited about) you got a 200/200. Perfect score. Your first three states/capitols test you have gotten 100% on all of them. Your math is coming along well despite having a teacher who gets impatient and is rude when you have questions. You are again doing hard things.
These hard things build character and help shape you in ways that will help you all through your life. It is hard when you are only 10 and have a still emotionally developing brain, but you have far exceeded my expectations and just amaze me how you have not only survived these months, but blossomed. I love that we have the relationship that we do. That you can tell me these hard things and trust me with matters of your heart. I will listen to you always. I love you 100 infinities around space and back my Sunshine T-Rex. You are a most beautiful child of God.