I May Look 12, But There's Not Enough Money In The World To Make Me Go Back To Junior High.
Some things should never be repeated.
- a bad poodle perm
- chicken pox
- middle school
High school for me, I'd do over in a second. But there's something about the junior high that makes me think that God is giving us a real dose of hell in terms that we can understand. I think it's a little something called hormones and power trips...
The Girl had her first official dose of "Queen Bee" syndrome on Friday night. The middle school had their quarterly party night, which really is a lot of fun and heavily chaperoned. They have sports in the gym, arts and crafts in the art room, board games in the library and music playing in the cafeteria (along with enough junk food to keep them going for the next millennium.)
While she and a group of friends were in the cafeteria, another girl came up and started teasing The Girl about liking a boy... incessantly. The Girl, who if you know her, held her own for a while, but after a long duration, she couldn't take it anymore. (Plus at 11, she is just not interested in boys yet. She likes them fine as people, but when asked if she likes anyone, she actually shutters as if someone just gave her cooties.) She was a less annoying version of Moaning Myrtle in the bathroom. She cried for a while, and then, like her mother, she didn't want to come out due to her cry-induced puffy face. When she finally did, she found that her concession stand food had been thrown away.
It was just one of those nights for her.
But afterwards, she spent the night at a friend's house where she had cookie dough, talk time and her first introduction to Wii. God knew just what to do to give her a pick-me-up.
Now I want to tell you a couple of things that I'm truly thankful for in The Girl's situation.
First, you notice that The Girl spent the night at a friend's house after the party, right? We didn't find out that night that anything had happened at all. It was Saturday morning that we first heard the news. A friend of The Girl called to see how The Girl was doing. Of course we were baffled by the question, so we asked why wouldn't The Girl be okay, and the friend told us without dramatics and without fanfare what had happened. She was a great friend.
We were prepared for when The Girl came home from the friend's house. The crying that happened later when we asked about the party wasn't chucked up to not enough sleep or hormones.
We also learned that there are some things about which The Girl will not talk. She refused to tell us what happened other than "I just didn't have a good time at the party." Thank you God for the good friend who called! Now I know to be more observant and watchful if there are things that The Girl will not tell me. (This portion really came as a surprise to me. We have a great relationship where she tells me everything, or so I thought.)
We had a very leading conversation where we talked about how others may try to make her feel badly for several reasons: insecurity, loneliness, anger, power, jealousy or a myriad of other reasons. We also gave example after example about how we (the parents) allowed others to have control over us with words and how we had to learned not to give that kind of control over to anyone. Then we had story after story about how we were so much happier with ourselves and life after we learned that hard lesson. We also put a plug in for her to be extra nice to the girl who was teasing her come Monday. She really liked the "kindness would be like heaps of burning coals on her head" scripture.
I'm so glad that The Girl went through this ordeal now, though. She was surrounded by great friends who stuck up for her and encouraged her to let it go, she has caring friends who reached out to her after the fact, and she learned a valuable lesson that sticks and stones may break her bones, but middle school can suck - but only if she lets it.