Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Disappointment and Astronauts

My 9-year-old daughter, Phoenix, came home from school and told me that she wasn't being included in any games during inside recess. She would ask to play charades, minecraft, board games, etc. but was told by the kids at each table that there wasn't enough space for her to play too. Last night, just her and I went grocery shopping and she told me that she's heard of other people being invited to parties that she wasn't invited to. The kids are leaving her out and it breaks her heart. And so it breaks my heart.

I talked to the teacher yesterday and when I told her what happened, she told Phoenix to make a list of the kids. So, we came home and she made that list within two seconds flat. She knew who the people were and didn't even have to think about it, which made me sad to know that she's obviously spent much time lamenting in her own head about the pain this has caused her. I wish I could take it into myself so she never knows that feeling of not being wanted and accepted.

Thankfully, she has friends. We talked at length about them, and how they are wonderful, beautiful, people. The kinds of kids she gravitates toward are remarkable. They are empathetic, kind, loving. All the things I want for my child and wish I could give her every moment of everyday. It makes my heart sing to know that she has that influence in her life when I, the mom, can't be by her side. She beams when she talks about them. But still, the pain of exclusion echoes constantly in our chats. She fixates on the whys and the whats. She wants to know what to do and it's so hard when the answer is that you just can't do anything at all. Some people just don't like you.

"They're assholes.", I've said. And yes, I gave her permission to say that word to me whenever she wanted, because who doesn't feel just a little better after they swear?

I've experienced this a lot in my life. I love hard and loving and trusting people often leaves you disappointed. I guess I expect a lot. More importantly, as an adult, I still feel that relationship between the things that I've done and the attitudes of others toward me. I wonder what I could have done differently and how, if I had been just a little "cooler" or "calmer" or whateverer, I would have attained that approval I sought. Unfortunately, just like I tell my daughter, I know it's not a cause and effect relationship. Some people are just not going to like you no matter what you do. You can't spend your time and energy on people who aren't going to change their minds.

My friend, Stephanie, sent me a gift for a group exchange.
It's a print of a quote:

I needed to read this today.

And maybe you did too.

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