Wednesday, November 25, 2009
I knew it would happen sooner or later. Kids are harsh with each other. They tell it like it is, and their allegiances change from moment to moment.
Last Friday my kindergartner and I were going over her day at school and the upcoming Thanksgiving break. While we were talking, she got really quiet.
"Mom, I want to whisper something to you."
"Sure honey, what is it?"
She slowly walked over to me, just like in the picture above, her eyes down the whole time. I knew something must have happened at school. I leaned in close so she could whisper in my ear.
" ... Isis said 'I don't like you'."
Isis is on her short list of reasons she wants to go to school in the morning. I hear all about their antics, what they ate for lunch, and how many times they played with the hula-hoops at recess. I know how much her little friendships mean to her; she prays about her friends every night. And I could tell, from the tone in her voice, that she was very hurt by this. She couldn't bring herself to hold my gaze with her large, sad eyes.
"Mom, I really don't like it when people aren't my best friend anymore."
It hurt to see her experiencing that sad, confused feeling! I didn't know what to say to her. I gave her a big long hug, told her how much I loved her, and told her all the wonderful things about her that make her a great friend. I could tell that, while it was nice to hear those things, it wasn't really helping her to feel better. She couldn't yet cope with the idea of losing one of her best friends.
Apparently at lunch, Isis spilled her chocolate milk all over my daughter's pink pants. From what I can tell, Isis felt awkward and embarrassed about it, which lead to their little discussion. I'm hoping it was a temporary setback.
In the end, I decided to talk to her about ways to be a good friend, such as taking turns, having patience, and telling her friends the things that she likes about them and what they do well. We also talked about things she could say to Isis next time she sees her, such as "I am sad you don't want to be my friend anymore. If you change your mind, I'd really like to play with you again." She cheered up at the idea of having something to say to Isis the next time she sees her. I hope it goes well!
Yesterday, while rifling through some papers, I found this letter that she made for Isis, before the defriending incident.
She wrote this one day and brought it to me with a stamp on it.
It translates into:
"Isis, my number is 4244 if you want to play with me."
This breaks my heart! I wish I were five, so I could be her best friend and always want to play with her and make sure her little feelings are never hurt. I know that this will be one of many necessary lessons for her to learn.
I just wish there were a way to learn these life lessons without a tender heart getting hurt.
Today I'm thankful that children are so resilient. She got over the hurt quickly--sooner than I did, by far. It was good to see her rebound so thoroughly. She was back to her happy self, pretending to sing opera and chasing drinking glass rainbows, in no time.