“Mom! I love my new classes! I have Mr. M____ for keyboarding! I’m going to learn a ton, Mom. A TON! That’s a lot.”
Not pausing for a breath, Bethany continued,
“And I have Mrs. C——- and we’re going to cook, Mom. The class is called Healthy Living. It’s just what you and me have been talking about being fit, flat, and firm. Right Mom?” She proudly slapped her tummy while sucking it in.
(I had to laugh- yes- I’ve been on my own journey of “fit, flat, and firm”. I don’t want to say “diet” or mention “weight” but focus on fit and healthy. Looks like she’s assimilating that message 😉 )
“Then I have Art and Choir. Mom, I love Art and Choir. And I love my teachers. I meet new friends, too.”
“That’s awesome, Bethany! I’m excited for this 2nd semester, baby.”
“Mom, I not a baby. I’m a babe!”
“Excu-u-u-se me.” I laughed and rephrased. ‘I’m so excited babe!”
3 hours later- at dinner time, a much more subdued Bethany asked me, “Mom. You know my new classes?”
“Yes- they sound great! I’m excited you had a good day.”
“Yeah- but- – – I had a sorta good day. kinda….. now I don’t know anybody at lunch. I sat by myself. No one asked me to sit with them.”
What? Really? Are you sure you didn’t know anyone in the lunch room? (my mother’s heart is beating faster and I’m trying to control the bear inside. I think- “What do you mean “no one” asked you to sit with them? “
Self Talk: Cindy! Whoa- slow down girl. Be still my emotional heart. Shut down the adrenaline and think.
“Bethany, did you ask anyone if you could sit at their table? Maybe everybody was busy eating and talking and they didn’t see that you were looking for someplace to sit down?”
“No, Mom, no. Everybody didn’t look at me. No one had room for me. Where I gonna sit?”
Analyze and put into perspective:
I want to protect my child. I want to insulate her from hurt. I want life to be easy for her!!!
Or do I?
Life isn’t easy! In fact, as I’ve tried to follow Jesus’ teachings- life isn’t easy at all. Because I can’t just think about “me”.
He is always teaching me to be less “self-absorbed” and look to be “others-minded”. Yes- we should love ourselves but we’re to love others with the same consideration as we love ourselves. If we want a friend- we need to be friendly. If we want compassion- we show compassion! We don’t wait for someone to bless us first- we seek to be a blessing! I don’t know if there’s a more liberating feeling than when I don’t worry about my “self” or what others are thinking!
What I really want is Bethany to grow in confidence in her worth as a child of God and learn to exercise her brain to think less about herself and more about others.
I want my child to grow in compassion. I want her to learn to navigate hurt and loneliness and those uncomfortable social moments. I want Bethany’s life to be full of learning to lean on God. I don’t want her thinking like a victim. (“poor me”) I want her to understand EVERYONE goes through those “insecure”, “awkward”, friendship challenges .
this slam dunk was NOT easy- but Bethany did it! 😉
Because life isn’t easy. For anyone. ‘
It’s EASY to feel sorry for ourselves, but we need God’s perspective to help us choose to be others minded!
Slowly, I say, “Bethany, that’s a bummer you couldn’t find anyone to sit with-yet. You know how you want someone to ask you to sit with them? Well, I’ll bet there’s other kids that wish someone would sit with them! I’ll bet you anything, you’re not the only one that feels awkward or doesn’t know who to sit with. Do you think you could look around see if someone needs YOU to sit by them?”
“K, Mom. You mean make a new friend that I don’t know yet? That’s a good idea, Mom.” She wraps her adolescent- yet still very much “my little girl” arms around me and whispers, “But I still wish someone just ask me sit by them.”
PS- after about a week (and all her precious siblings telling her similar stories of when they were in middle school and how they had to try hard to find and make friends) I’m glad to report, Bethany is sitting with friends and making new friends during the lunch hour. 🙂
Surprising Treasure: I need to remember to step back- so she can grow up!
I love reading, home schooling, encouraging others, playing the piano, worshiping, dating my husband, and planning parties and retreats for our clan.
Someday, I really, really want a horse and learn to play the cello and viola.