Sunday, September 03, 2006 be a daughter's mother

If this little girl, this one with the goofy grin in her Snow White costume, this curious one who loves finding tadpoles, this sweet dear one that gives the best cuddles, this one that you waited so many years to have and fought so hard to keep safe until she was ready to be born, came up to you and said, "Mommy, why won't the other girls let me play with them?" would you crumble inside? Would you gather her into your lap and just cry? Because it was all I could do to not cry. All I could do to not walk over to the other little girl and put her over my knee. All I could do to stop the flash of all the other little girls that will make my daughter hurt, doubt herself, wonder what is wrong with her.

I don't know that I handled it well. I don't think I did. I said loud enough for the other two girls to hear, that sometimes girls were just mean. Some girls just don't know how to play with more than one other girl. Why? I don't know, but I do know that it hurts our feelings. Jellybean, doesn't understand girls. She gets so excited when there are other girls around because she has three brothers. And most girls and other kids in general absolutely love her. Love to play with her. She's sweet and fun and can play soccer as easily as dolls.

Unfortunately, there is one girl that does not like our daughter. or any of our kids, come to think of it. And more unfortunately, Janey is the daughter of my husband's best friend. I hate when we get together as families. And that is so hard because I love this couple. The wife is in my book/dinner club. She is so funny and irreverent and smart. But their kids...that's another story. You see, Jellybean was playing just fine with Katie, another 4 year old girl, after Janey refused to talk to her. (Before we went to this BBQ, Jellybean actually asked me what she should do if Janey wouldn't talk to her. I told her their would be plenty of other girls there, too.) Well, Janey finally decided SHE wanted to play with Katie and as quick as can be, Jellybean was cut off. Just like that. and they are only FOUR years old! Jellybean tried several brave times to get back into the action, but eventually played with her brothers and then by herself.

I know it is this one girl's problem, not Jellybean's. Plenty of kids like her. But think about it. Doesn't the one that doesn't like you begin to overpower all the others in your mind? You don't think about them. You focus in on why this ONE person doesn't like you and what must be wrong with you. And then I have to pray and pray that I am not also contributing to that feeling. When my ears are so exhausted from listening to her nonstop talk that I honestly fear they will fall right off. When she wants to be me so much that there isn't a chore that is too mundane for her to superglue herself at my side so she can attempt it. I pray that I am not mean, that I can be that reflection of Divine love, that I can help build a self-esteem so strong that no one can touch it. I thank God everyday that Jellybean will soon have a sister, God willing. And that eventhough there will be four years between them, Flea will always think that Jellybean is the greatest.

And when they are grown they will have each other. Sisters.


Anonymous said...

She should come play at my house - we have a plethora of girls and they would love Jellybean.