“I don’t have any friends!”
That is what I have heard this year, more times than I would care to mention, from my youngest daughter, who just turned ten. I have witnessed old friendships fall to the wayside, and I have seen with my own eyes the way these old “friends” treat her at school. I have held my daughter as she cried about being locked out of friendship for wearing the wrong brand of clothes, and I have been heartbroken as I hear my daughter say she no longer wants to attend the school rollerskating events because of how these girls snicker at her while she’s there. I have held my tongue when it comes to how I really feel about these three girls, but it has taken it all out of me.
So, you can imagine my fear as her birthday approached, and the thought of having a party crept up. My mom meddling skills have always been high, and I have invited people to her past parties, thinking I was helping, only to find she did not want them to attend. This year I was leaving it all up to her. She could pick who she wanted to invite, solely based on if they were bucket fillers, and not bucket dippers. I told her to think about the people that she liked to be around, and those that accepted and liked her for exactly the person she is. She invited eight girls. A few that I knew, and a few that I had only heard of. Fingers crossed, and this party was on.
We had her party yesterday at a local painting venue. The girls were going to paint pottery, and with a minimum of eight painters requirement, I was nervous about how many would show. I knew that two couldn’t come due to prior engagements, and had heard from a few others that they would be there. Six girls showed, and with my daughter, my oldest daughter, and my husband, we had nine painters! We were all introduced to each other, and the party began.
I have been feeling heart broken for my daughter lately, as the drama with old friends is high. Watching all of these girls together blew me away. They were laughing and talking. They all got along. Nobody broke off into small groups to be alone and gossip about the others. Nobody tried to control who talked to who, and who got to sit by my daughter. These have all been the trends at her past parties, and it is funny how these situations did not arise yesterday. Out with the old, and in with the new. I heard girls telling my daughter, “I got you this present, because I know how you like….” I heard girls saying, “As soon as I saw this, I thought of you.” I cannot believe my daughter feels like she has no friends! They were building each other up on the projects they were creating, and positively speaking to one another at all times. This group of girls that she is surrounding herself with is amazing!
I think her feelings come from the fear of entertaining the idea of making new friends. The fear that comes with losing old friends as you grow apart. I had one girl at her party tell me about how she was new at the school last year. She said that nobody would play with her at recess, and she felt all alone. She then said that my daughter was the first person at the school to approach her, and they instantly became friends. She said my daughter was her first best friend. How her story spoke so much of my daughter’s character! And hers as well.
“I don’t have any friends!” is something I refuse to hear about anymore. She is surrounded by amazing girls, with amazing hearts everyday. Yes, the loss of old friends can sting. Especially when they are relentlessly mean. However, focusing on the positives can overshadow any hurt that may come my daughter’s way. Our shot at entertaining for her 10th birthday yesterday was way more successful than I had imagined it would be. I took a group picture of them all, though I won’t post it here out of respect of privacy. You can believe me when I tell you the smiles on these girls’ faces are priceless. Especially the one on my daughter’s face. ❤
(Daily Prompt) Entertain