I picked my twelve year old daughter up today from after school daycare, and she rushed to meet me. She had a string in hand, and shouted in excitement, "my Mom will know." She asked me to show her how to make Jacob's Ladder with the string. Her smile was big and her eyes shined with pride. She called over the staff member to have her take a look, and she told her, "see, I told you my mom would know how." I felt like the coolest Mom in the world.
We walked outside, and there was a surprise California rainstorm this afternoon. The sky was filled with dark luminous clouds, yet the sun just broke through. I started singing "Here Comes The Sun", as we held hands walking to the car. She asks me to please sing her song, and of course, I oblige. "Sunshine, you are my sunshine....." I have sang her that song since she was a baby. I sang it to her on her first day of kindergarten, and it makes her feel so special. As I sang, I lead her in a twirl, and she danced in the parking lot.
We got in the car and she told me about her day. She has decided that she no longer wishes to remain friends with Meagan. Meagan is quite an unstable child, who lashes out at my daughter when things don't go her way. She hits her, throws things, and has everyone gang up to isolate my daughter. The next day she will be her best friend. We have talked many times with her on how to cope with her friendship, and it was always to react with kindness, and show her how you expect to be treated. She said, "you know, I have tried for many years to work on our friendship, but it just doesn't seem like it is worth the effort any more." I told her that I respected her decision, because I have made the same decisions in my life about people. I told her, however, that does not mean that you can be rude or disrespectful to her. You should continue to be friendly with her. She says, "I know. I just want to develop some other friendships." My heart just warmed.
When we stopped to get gas, she told me that no one wants to be friends with Hunter anymore. (He is a rambunctious boy in the neighborhood) She says that she does not hate him, she just doesn't like it when he does mean things.
We got home, and she dropped her backpack, and did her chores just as fast as she could, and headed off to the neighbors to play. I sit here and contemplate how she has developed into a young woman with strong character. It is those little moments, those small interactions with your kids that mean so much. I couldn't have been more proud of her than if she had brought home all A's. They are only little for so long, and you hope that you can instill as strong sense of self, and compassion and respect for others. I felt so proud of her today, and quite honestly proud of myself. Those little things in your children's life, the ten minute conversation in the car, to dance in the parking lot or play string games are the things that add up to something really big and really profound.