So Hard

June 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.


  1. i am sooo not looking forward to this. so sorry for your daughter, and for you.

  2. This is exactly why I wanted boys. Boys just punch each other and problems are resolved. Girls… ugh. Girls are just cruel.

  3. Hi Suzie,

    I started writing a reply to your experience and waffled on for long enough that I decided to make it a post that I will link to your post. That is, if you don’t mind…

    • Of course I don’t mind! Look forward to reading your thoughts.

      • Yes, umm, I already did it … *sheepish*

  4. […] was reading an interesting post tonight. It resonated because I’d felt the same way many times before. I started to write a […]

  5. […] stress about dynamics incessantly (proof here).  I am a perceptive person – I catch the raised eyebrows across the table, despite a high […]

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