Yeah, yeah, yeah....I know that was me the other day ranting and raving about how excited I was that the kids are back at school again.
And yeah, that was me running around the house naked the minute they were all gone....because I could.
However, I also knew it would be a matter of time before the worries and concern began to creep up.
Not so much for Garrett and Landon because they're in preschool where all the kids love one another and everyone's your best friend.
But more for Cole and Bella because they're in 2nd grade now...when some kids can be downright heartless.
Upon picking them up at school, one of my first questions to them has always been, "So....who did you sit next to at lunch today?"
I know....wierd, right? I don't ask, "What did you learn today?" or "Did you have a good day?"
It all goes back to my awkward elementary school years, where I felt like a total misfit.
Where I learned that the kids who told you they were your best friend one day could so easily turn their backs on you for absolutely no reason the very next day.
Where I learned that kids chose to like you based on the way you looked or didn't look.
Where I learned that who you were friends with was just as important as who you weren't friends with.
Where I learned that words can hurt and forever damage a person's soul.
I'll admit that my children's social experience at school is just as important to me as their academic experience.
Don't get me wrong...they don't need to be the most popular child at school or run for Class President every single year.
I simply want them to be liked and accepted for who they are on the outside, as well as the inside.
So yesterday, when Bella told me, "I sat by myself today at lunch, Mommy", the thought of this beautiful, friendly little girl sitting in the cafeteria eating lunch all by herself made me teary-eyed. It brought back sad and lonely memories for me.
The difference, though, between she and I is that it didn't bother her to eat alone.
"How did that make you feel....to eat alone?" I asked.
She replied, "It was no big deal. By the time I got to the cafeteria, there was no more room at the table where Macie was sitting. It actually worked out because without anyone to talk to, I had time to eat my entire lunch today".
"Emily told me that she thinks I'm mean," she continued. "I don't know why because she wouldn't tell me. Maybe I should invite her to my birthday party, anyway, so she knows I still like her. That would be the nice thing to do, don't you think?"
I couldn't help but smile through my tears, as I felt such pride for my baby girl. Where does she get this confidence...this maturity....which I seemingly lacked when I was her age?
And just as quickly as my heart filled with admiration for her, I grew concerned.
As she goes through life, will she become tainted by the mean spirit of others...will there ever come a point where she stops seeing the good in others because others seem to focus only on the negative?
Because that's what happened to me. I learned that trusting too easily was for fools. And I learned that people almost always had ulterior motives for being kind.
It's funny how, as parents, we want our children to have a better life than we did. We want them to be more successful than we were. In fact, we want it so badly that our hearts literally ache at the thought of them failing at something or being rejected by their peers.
For now, I suppose all I can do is continue to encourage them to be loving and kind to others, even when others may not treat them so nicely. Kill them with kindness, isn't that what they say?
And I'll continue to arrive at their school 45 minutes ahead of time so I can watch my oldest twins on the playground, laughing with their friends and enjoying the simplicity of life...while praying with all my might that things never change.
OM and Ohms
1 day ago