"In the middle of the nightI have felt it for a week now, this nagging feeling. If you could even call it a feeling, more like a sense or a whisper. A quiet tap, tap, tapping on my soul. Something is not right.
Miss Clavel turned on the light
and said, "Something is not right!" ~Ludwig Bemelmans (from "Madeline")
She was spending so much time alone. But that in itself wasn't entirely unusual. She's always been a bit of a loner. Residing in a world of her imagination. Like her literary hero, Anne Shirley, she can occupy herself for hours with nothing but her mind. I've always loved that about her.
Yet still, something was off. Her smile was a bit more reserved. Her laughter a bit less free.
I've tried to ask her, to probe a bit and see if it was just my imagination. If it was just my typical tendency to worry. She assured me nothing was amiss, but even in her denial, I felt it. The tapping again.
So tonight when she was sitting outside I went and sat with her. I asked her about school.
"Fine" she says.
I asked her about her classes.
"They're okay. Kinda boring. My teachers are nice though."
I've heard all this before. No news here. Nothing to worry about. "Are you still hanging out with your new friend, Shelby?" I ask. Still probing.
"No not really" she said evasively.
"Um........She's kinda mean. And all she cares about is boys and being popular." The tapping was a louder now. I knew being friends with Shelby was a relief to her. Her other friends had not ended up in her classes.
"Oh." I said. "So who are you friends with now?"
She looked down at the ground and shrugged her shoulders.
And in that gesture, that one insecure, embarrassed gesture... my heart cracked in two.
I recently read another post on this topic by Painted Maypole. Her daughter is only in kindergarten. This seems to be just a rite of passage for our children. Learning how to deal with cruelty in the world. Gladly I would sacrifice that lesson.
I am sorry Allie girl, that the world is not an kinder place.
I am sorry that I can not make it so.