Girls. What is it about girls?
I took Annie to Kindergarten this morning. She had her feelings hurt, her little girl world crushed, and was given a long talk by me all before the bell rang and then I kissed her goodbye and wished her a good day.
This past week she’s dipped a toe into the kind of drama I was so happy to walk away from after high school.
I get home schooling. On days like today I understand home schooling. I don’t want to shelter my kids from life. I want them to have social skills and learn how to work things out. I want them to experience school and have peers. I couldn’t home school. It’s too much. I couldn’t subject my kids to that kind of torture. But, when they’re five and being excluded and told they aren’t liked I want to take her home.
I was liked. I had friends. But I remember being initiated into that girl world of teasing, whispers, and freezing out. It equips me, I suppose, to get her through this now. She is liked. She has friends, but girls can be fickle. It’s her turn to be initiated and I’m wondering does it have to be this way and isn’t this too soon?
Parenting has snuck up on me. I’m surprised to find myself in the position of teacher. I shouldn’t be surprised, but I am. We smile at our babies coaxing smiles out of them. We urge them to put one foot in front of the other as toddlers. They are suddenly made very aware of others when we coach them to share. Now I’m navigating these land mines called feelings. And we model. For better or worse we model. We teach them.
Annie is confident. She knows who she is and if I can help it I won’t let anyone chip away at that. I’m trying. I make mistakes. I don’t always get it right, but I am for her. Always for her. I want her world to be a little girl’s world for as long as it can be. Not because I never want her to grow up, but because I don’t want her to grow up too fast.
Photo taken by Anastasia Chomlack.