So HardJune 18, 2011
I am sitting in my bedroom, in my cozy, comfy chair. There’s a book in my lap, tasty snacks & a glass of wine at my side.
And i find myself in tears.
When my girls were small, I had power over their friendships. If there was a toddler prone to biting, or hitting, I could decide not to plan play dates with that child. A kid at the park who hoarded all the shovels, or lorded over a certain slide – find another park.
Even in elementary school, Mom’s opinion (and scheduling power) held considerable sway.
But no more. We’re in middle school now.
Now I am forced to sit and watch as my child is treated like a goddamned hockey puck. Once sacred friendships are discarded for the hope & promise of “popularity”. Plans are blown off because something more “cool” has come along.
That it happens on the eve of a several hundred dollar birthday outing only compounds my anger. My sense of protectiveness cannot endure. (First my daughter, then my wallet?)
I so want to march up and say “this is not the behavior of a good friend. Or of a good person!”
But at the threat of my wrath, my daughter’s tears form.
“Mommy, please. I can handle this. This is mine.”
And I think back to my own 7th grade self. In June! Almost 8th. What if my mom marched up to my friends and gave them what-for.
Well, wow. Um, I’d have died.
So I bite my tongue.
I bitch to my husband.
I make veiled references in emails to my friends (the nasty girls’ moms).
And I wonder -
Do they scoff? do they look back to times when they sat, looking across the street at giggling girls while their own was sitting in her room, with a brave smile and forced forgiveness, and think “karma, baby!”
I am struggling, with this independence business. I want to trust. But I fear that my girls allow for too much. They take too much on the chin. They don’t stand up & say ‘enough’.
Tonight, I told her: You need higher standards for your friendships.
Her friend (a fellow blown-off girl) scoffed at me. “if we had higher standards, we’d have no friends.”
My indignation only causes bitterness from the person I want to protect.
This is so hard.