My oldest daughter is on the cusp of turning 13. In September she will transfer from her sweet little private school classroom to the echoing halls of middle school. This will be her second go-round at public school. The first time she just couldn’t do it. Couldn’t fit in. It was one of my hardest times as a mother. Seeing her so sad and lonely.
There is no reason why she shouldn’t have abundance in friendship. She is beautiful and charming. Smart and funny. Generous and kind. All the things we, as social creatures, look for in a friend.
The only reason that I keep coming back to is that she is just like me. She is just like me. She is confident, yet shy. She likes to help others. She gives more than she takes. She prefers the comfort of a good book and a warm bed than the company of others.
I understand this in her. I feel the same way, yet I want more for her. I am a grown woman with only a few good friends, one of them being my partner. I desire a circle of friends that I can share my life with. Who will support me and whom I can support through all those peaks and valleys of life. But I have become so entwined with this anti-social self that I can’t detangle from it.
This is the hard part of parenting. I can’t change her, I can’t force her, I can’t make her anything she doesn’t want to be. She is the girl she is and I am going to have to keep quietly encouraging her to stretch and reach.
“Free Little Baby Bird” D Sharon Pruitt @ flickr.com. Creative Commons. Some Rights Reserved.
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