The things that will never make it in the baby books and other musings from a stay at home mom

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

As the playground turns

The good news is that all of our heart to hearts about being friendly with everyone are working. Julia's teacher confirms that the stories that Julia's been telling me about playing with all of the children in her class, not just her best friends, are true. "She's branching out beautifully. It's really nice to see," I was told at pick up time today. I'm suddenly hearing names I haven't heard before; Julia's building castles with Abby and running around outside with Morgan and sharing secrets with Alexis. I'm so proud of her (and not in the least bit smug to discover that -- for the time being, at least -- I still have a bit of an impact on my child's behavior).

The flip side to all of this social maturity, however, is Julia's first fallout with a good friend. Her best friend was apparently a bit taken aback by Julia's outreach efforts and told Julia that she really didn't want her playing with anyone else. Julia, God bless her, said that she couldn't do that but she would love it if they could all play together. The answer? "Well, then you're no longer my friend. And you're not invited to my birthday party, either."

Julia doesn't quite seem to get this kind of behavior ("I think she must have been joking," she told me with a slightly quivering lip) but it's all too familiar to me. Julia's doing the right thing here, but it's possible that she'll end up paying a high price for doing so. And as proud as I am of my daughter, the prospect of her closest friendship splitting up over something that I urged her to do breaks my heart a little bit.

I've always said that I would never relive those years of catty girl fights again for anything. But it's suddenly becoming clear to me that as the mother of a girl, I'm going to spend the next 15 or so years reliving them through my daughter whether I like it or not. This is Julia's life and it's not my place to get involved or invested. But the sinking feeling in my heart as Julia relayed the events of the day for me confirmed that I'm going to feel hurt right along with her all the same.


At 3:23 PM, Blogger chichimama said...

I was just about to smugly post that I was so glad that I have a boy, and then realized that for all her tomboyishness, I also have a girl who likes her dollies and dress up. I don't think I can do it again.

At 5:37 PM, Blogger Steph said...

Boy, am I in trouble. I get to relive those years two times over.

And, hugs to Julia.

At 11:04 PM, Blogger Jennifer said...

Oh no! I don't know if I can do it all over again. It's going to be a long 15(18? 20?) years, isn't it? *sigh*.


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