Unfortunately, the last couple years have forced to realize that even she is not immune from insecurities. She came home from school last week confiding that she feels lonely. In one of her classes no one wants to be her partner. She repeatedly asks the girls around her but they say "We're full" and she is left alone to be put with whomever has an empty spot.
"It makes me feel like crying" she confessed in a small voice.
I searched for the words I was supposed to say. Something comforting and parental.
"It's their loss"When she left with a sigh to go downstairs my stomach was twisted in knots. I would have given so much to spare her the rejection that characterized my own middle school years. To never have her feel unwanted or to wonder if she isn't good enough.
"Don't take it personally, Honey. You have lots of friends who love you."
"Everyone feels like this sometimes. Maybe you could look for someone else in your class that might be in the same situation."
But then, later the same night she confided in me again. Several boys in her class like her. One of them even asked her out. And my stomach did a different kind of flip as I asked her what she said. Concentrating on my voice to keep it casual.
"Ugh! I said NO, Mo-om. Boys my age are all stupid and annoying."
"Oh." I said fighting back a grin. "Well, I hope you weren't mean."
"No. I just told him that I don't date anymore."
Anymore? And I couldn't contain my smile at that. Because the previous dating she was referring to was a "boyfriend" she had for five minutes sometime last year.
I lay in bed last night contemplating this dichotomy. Rejection on one hand. Rejecting on the other. And I suspect this will always be the case for her. She believes so fiercely in her right to be who she is. To like the things that she likes even if no one else does. And reversely she refuses to pretend, or even consider, to be interested in things she's not.
And while I believe overall this is a positive trait, it also gets her into trouble. Other kids find her odd, or immature, or standoffish with all her rules. Even her own friends occasionally get frustrated with her unwillingness to compromise. And I struggle with teaching her the difference between considering others points of views and compromising her own.
Mostly though, I am proud.
Proud of my strong, sensitive, occasionally sassy, twelve-year-old girl who believes in her right to dislike leggings, bikinis, make-up, and pop-music. Who loves hippie clothes and fairy tales, Broadway and I Love Lucy. Who still enjoys playing with dollhouses and dressing-up. Who never wants to have to drive a car but can't wait to wear high-heeled shoes. Who thinks her dad is the perfect guy and wants to marry someone just like him someday.
I love the girl she has become.
And miss the one she used to be.
And miss the one she used to be.
Happy Birthday to my Sunshine. I can't wait to see what your future holds.
*Note: While Allie is not a typical twelve-year-old in many respects she is still twelve. Which is to say she has started to share Brandon's disdain for
everything I do having her life shared on my blog. As a result this will probably be the last introspective Allison post for quite a while. I'm going to try to respect her wishes and stick to just newsy stuff. And maybe a little bragging now and then.