Sunday, November 1, 2009

Growing pains.

Not long ago my little children asked me to chaperone their class trip to the zoo. I realized then, much to my dismay, that I have never chaperoned any of their school activities. They are in sixth grade. Total. Motherhood. Fail.

So I said yes. I don't get to say yes nearly as much as I want. My life is a daze of working and writing and working and looking for the next thing to do. It's sort of a crappy life, frankly, and I'm getting kind of tired of it.

Thus? We went to the zoo.

But before we did, I went into my daughter's classroom. Her sixth grade classroom. Which was full of girls who had on far more make-up than I and were using curse words that would have gotten my face slapped when I was at that age.

And my daughter? Was sitting. Quietly. In the last seat, in the last row. Silently reading a book. Ignoring the massive noise and confusion all around her. I don't know how, but she was.

She does that all the time, according to her teacher. She doesn't really interact with the other kids. She keeps to herself. She's quiet. Silent, really, unless called upon.

So she's weird.
Or they eat her alive. And she'll forever be someone other than who she is right now.

It seems like an unfair choice, frankly. And even more unfair? I can't help her.

To her credit, she seems unconcerned about everything going on around her. She doesn't feel the aches of being alone. She doesn't seem concerned that the other kids are faster, and seem older. She appears to be perfectly content with who she is.

I hope appearances are not deceiving in this case. I really do.

Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. Elizabeth Stone said that. And big ups to Elizabeth Stone because truer words have never been spoken.


Sherri said...

Amen, Sister! Love you.

Devon said...

good for Girl Child if she can be content with her nose in a book.. and not worrying about boys and clothes and all of that rot! some day she'll care, i'm sure... but i think it's nice that she seems pretty laid back. heck, i could not BELIEVE some of the halloween costumes i saw for young (pre-teen) girls... very very inappropriate with too much skin showing!! and like you said... most of those little girls wear lots of make up! you should be proud of Girl Child for not falling all over herself wanting to be like everyone else! sounds like you're doing a great job bringing your kids up!! :) they both sound awesome!

Hockey Mom said...

Steph, I know EXACTLY what you're talking about. I've got a 6th grade boy who always seems to be on the outside looking in. Except he really does care and it hurts him. Visibly. I want to go kick some 6th grade butt over the things they say to him, but I can't. And 6th grade girls have to be some of the scariest creatures I have ever been around. (Girl child excepted!) I also understand about going around with your heart outside your chest. Part of the balance of life. Kids give you such joy and such aches. I think I'll have another drink!

soccermom of 4 said...

I have four kids, and one of my sons is like that. He has very few friends, but the friends he has are really, really good kids and really good friends. He really couldn't care any less about what other people think about him (he's kinda quirky, and so are some of his friends). His not caring what other people think is great when it comes to peer pressure. He just doesn't care and doesn't give in to it.

Another son cares very much about what everyone else thinks. He used to give in to peer pressure more, but he is somewhat better about that now. He also has his feelings hurt a lot.


Jill said...

It just means she is more mature. I went through the same thing, but I actually cared what they thought. Kudos to her for not giving a crap. It has only been this year I have been able to move on, and high school was a long time ago.

Shaun, Jessa, Caleb & Lorelei said...

My kids are forever taunting each other with "who has the most friends" and I always tell them that one true friend is worth more than anything you could possibly imagine.

Priscilla said...

Way to go girlchild!

It says alot about your parenting that girlchild is perfectly content with herself and doesn't have to be like everyone else.

You don't really want her to be like those other girls anyway.

Way to go Chick!

Anonymous said...

Great job with GirlChild! Awesome that she is comfortable in her own skin.

Im honestly shocked with how some of these kids are dressed/madeup!!

ZDub said...

I love your daughter.

Bethany said...

My oldest was exactly like that in middle school. It was tough- I wanted to kick some ass for her and make those kids realize how great she is!! Of course I didn't.

In high school she found her niche and had a great group of friends. Now she is in her first year of college and is really coming into her own. Well, for some reason I just started crying. My kid stayed true to herself and it got her some grief but she has such confidence and knowledge of herself now that those couple of crap years don't seem so bad now (I can't say they were "worth" it but they don't have the negative presence they could have).

Here's hoping Girl stays true to herself and comes out the other side even more amazing than she already is.

PaintedPromise said...

what Priscilla said! and wow i was about to go on and on about how profound you were... how i had never thought of it just like that but you hit the nail on the head... and then you said Elizabeth Stone said that.

well. i don't care. Elizabeth Stone may have said it first. but i heard it first from you. and i don't mean this exact quote today. it shows in everything you write about your children.

you are a fantastic mom! and i know that Boy Child and Girl Child agree with me ;)

M said...

I don't know how I missed this.

I totally get you. A million ways.

Everyone said everything else so I'll just mention I love you and those peeps as usual and hope I'm as good a mom as you are when my peeps hit this age. <3

Anonymous said...

Dear Author !