Saturday, March 28, 2009

They'll never be like you.

I worry about things I can't change. It's sort of my thing.

In addition to worrying about things like how I can get my whites whiter and what my dog dreams about and even why things seem to all go so horribly wrong for me? I also think a lot about nature vs. nurture. I blogged/whined about this before.

Because really. Jason and I do the best we can. We don't pretend to be perfect or better than anyone else. We're aware of our limitations and we are extremely aware of our flaws (and I'm sure if we weren't, someone would remind us). We just love those kids and we try. We really try.

The other day I had parent/teacher conferences.

I? Loathe parent teacher conferences.

I don't know why. Nothing bad ever happens. Lightening doesn't strike me and nothing falls on my head or anything but I dread them so, so much. The only thing I can figure is that I know I'm going to have to squeeze my hindquarters into a chair that is designed for someone between the ages of 5 and 11 and it's just not going to go well for me, so I automatically am biased against these meetings. That, and I just HATE to break my routine. I really, really thrive on having a set routine. So much so that I basically lose my ever-loving mind every time I have to go against it.

I met with the Girl's teacher first and it was really a good thing I did, because if I ever need to get a boost? I just need to talk to the Girl's teacher. Because she thinks that the Girl rocks. She does, of course, but it's always good to get validation of this from people who are not biologically related to us.

After polishing the Girl's halo for a moment, she asked if I had any concerns about her.

And I do.

Because...I hate to admit this but...I think the Girl one is a little weird.

I know. Shocking right? No clue where she would get this.

She's a nice kid and everyone likes her, but she prefers to be by herself (check). She'd rather read than do just about anything (double check). She randomly bursts into rather comical dancing to music only she can hear(um...check). She has a puppet (okay, I never had a puppet. Not that this makes me normal, I know).

So, frankly, I am terrified that the Girl one will grow up like me. Because I? Am not so much normal as I am a hot mess.

I also have fears, often, that my ex-husband will rear his ugly head and the children will somehow be like him.

I won't go into detail, but I really, really, really don't want them to be like him.

Therefore, I'm pretty much justifiably terrified every day of my life that my children will succumb to the genetic nightmare which was thrust upon them.

The Girl's teacher assured me that the Girl was right on track. She had friends in the class, lots of friends. She wasn't anti-social at lunch or on the playground. Yes, she prefers her own company over that of others, but that's okay.

And then, she shared a story.

There is a child in the Girl's class who is often in trouble. Often. She's not a very nice child, apparently, and often causes a lot of mischief. Basically, if something has gone wrong within the classroom, this child gets the blame. Because generally? It is this child's fault.

She also gets picked on by the other children. Excessively.

The Girl's teacher was quick to assure me that the Girl does not pick on this child. But they are also not friends and this child HAS picked on the Girl before and been very ugly to her.

Recently, there was some incident in the classroom. The teacher didn't give me details and I didn't ask. Several children in the classroom attributed the incident to the trouble making child, and the teacher believed them. Why wouldn't she?

The Girl? Got upset.

So she took it upon herself to write a letter to the principal. She told the principal that yes, this trouble making girl often got into scrapes, and yes, it was often her fault that these things happened, but this time, the troublemaker was not at fault. And also, all the kids picked on her and bullying is wrong, and can the principal please take care of all of this?

This child is not her friend, mind you. This child, in fact, has been quite mean to the Girl.

But right is right.

And my Girl knew it.

No one had to tell her, and she never told me this happened.

She just knew it was right.

Have you ever heard the expression "my heart swelled"? Because my heart? I think it actually swelled.

She'll never be like him.

And maybe, I hope, she'll only be the good parts of me.


Queen of Halloween said...

Life does have it's rewards...good job!

Lindsay D said...

I just got teary eyed....excellent story

Angie said...

I needed to read this. Thanks.

Kimberly Vanderhorst said...

You are doing such an amazing job of only passing on the good parts. You really are.

NGS said...

When everything else in your life seems too big, too stressful, or just too big of a pain in the rear, I hope you remember this story and it brings you great joy and comfort. What a nice, kind child!!

Anonymous said...

My heart kind of swelled....and I don't even know your Girl!

Bethany said...

You & Jason are doing a great job! Don't sweat it (too much anyway).

Kim said...

Teaching for nearly 20 years now, I have a child like yours about once a year. A child who, regardless of the prevailing current, does the right thing and is so innately at peace with themselves and others that no one thinks twice about whether or not to like them. They are usually capable of being friendly and play with anyone in any social group on any given day. They are so incredibly comfortable with themselves that they can allow other children to be who they are (good or bad) without judgement.

Those kiddos give me hope for the future and hope for myself.

Oh, and the "rather be alone" thing?

CPA Mom said...

Oh My Word. My heart swelled too - what a fantastic daughter you have there! I would have NEVER done that. I am STILL wishing revenge on girls like that.


Anonymous said...

Pride. Tell her thank you and how awesome she is. I love those moments when I feel admiration for my kids. This one is huge, a beauty. love, V

M said...

I love catching up on your blog after forgetting blogs exist and not having motivation because then? I read things like this and MY heart swells.

You? Make good people. And then some. I love them and you times eleventy two.

Alpha Dude said...

The good parts of you??
That will be easy, you have a lot of "good parts" of you.
Which is, of course, why you totally Rock!


SJINCO said...

It would have been so easy for Girl Child to succumb to the peer pressure and gone along with everyone else but she didn't. And that is admirable beyond belief.

Kids are mean. Girls are especially mean. Bullies are just a whole different ballgame. Kudo's to Girl Child for sticking up for the troublemaker even if she was mean to her before....grudges just aren't good for your health no matter what age you are.

PaintedPromise said...

oh man i hear you about being terrified that "daddy" will show up in my girls... that would be SO not good!!!

love your story about the mean kid too!!!! i actually did something similar in gradeschool although it was a "picked on" kid, not a mean kid... turned out we became friends for a while until she moved away.

i still think about it from time to time and it was over 30 years ago. but the way it turned out has colored my life! and i like to think that it colored hers too :)