Who said growing up was easy?
Truth be told, I’m still finding my way.
Truth can be a funny thing, can’t it? In some ways I feel like a withered sage that’s been to hell and back, or an old boxer with brittle war stories and the scars to prove it. Other moments I’m still that little girl in the dungeon, scared to breathe lest someone knew I was still alive down there. Will I always be down there?
Our family discussions have been wrought with the triumphs and the pitfalls of truth lately. A week ago Hope’s best friend abruptly informed her that she was not only a “bad best friend”, but that she was no longer her BFF at all.
My daughter was admittedly crushed by the unsuspecting blow to the chin that left her spinning as if she was forever prepping for Pin the Tail on the Donkey, blindfold and all. Afterwards we talked about using our voice. We ruminated about naming our feelings. We reminded each other to tell others what we need. In the end my daughter confided, “I just want the courage to talk with her… and tell her that she hurt me.”
Now who is the wise old sage?
Why is to hard for all of us to extend beyond our comfort zones and go there? You know the there that we all avoid sometimes (or most times)… different place for each of us, but equally as terrifying. The truth.
The next time the former BFF saw Hope she quickly shoved a fairy toy in my daughter’s face muttering some mundane, but cheery form of hello. Hope reminded her of the former decision. You know, the one about not being BFFs anymore?
To Hope’s shock, the girl told her that she said no such thing and acted as if nothing happened. The second, more painful, right cross. Hope emotionally sank to her knees. Her opponent was clearly hoping that Hope would concede and let her run the show and dictate what id and didn’t happen in the world. Take a dive of sorts, you know the kind. But instead of throwing in the towel, my daughter became uncharacteristically angry.
“I want an apology, Mom, not some toy.”
The words lingered in the air as if written in fluffy white smoke letters by some passing biplane with time to spare. An insane smile invaded my face driving that furrowed brow deep into hiding. I savored hearing the first glimmer of feisty spunk in my daughter’s usually amenable voice. Right on.
“A toy doesn’t fix the problem, does it?” I asked, wondering if she was teetering on the fence between keeping the peace with her bestie of two years or finally taking stock in the one person who knows everything she is going through at home, at school, in her body and mind.
“I’m worth more than that, Mom,” the voice trailed from behind my seat to my ears like incense wafting and spiraling beautifully in ringlets all around me. My eyes flooded, and soon burned with the tears I couldn’t hold back.
“Yes, Darling,” I choked a bit, then cleared my voice, “You are worth so much more.”