Last Friday, I got so pissed at Blondie that I yelled. Yelling happens a lot in our house. I am not super proud of that but it is our go to form of communication. I am a work in progress, what can I say. She didn’t even do anything terribly wrong. I didn’t catch her breaking into homes or making meth in her room. Simply I caught her with something outside that I had told her multiple times, including the day before, that she needed to leave in her room. She got me on a bad day and I laid into her as she sat on her bed and cried. After several times of asking/yelling why she took it when she knew I didn’t want her to, she broke down sobbing and said those dreaded words….”I just want them to think I am cool.” This is the point where you could hear my heart shatter into a million pieces.
Blondie, to my knowledge, makes friends very easily. She is adored by the neighborhood kids (the very ones she was trying to impress), younger and older. She has not reported to me any difficulties at school, minus one little girl last year who tried to tell her that it was super weird that she wasn’t more girly. She shrugged that off easily enough or so I thought. I have raised her to be kind to all, a trait that fits her sweet nature and helps her fit in wherever she goes. And yet, she worries about being liked. She worries about being cool. She worries about fitting in. I feel like I am entering into a whole new territory. I struggled at her age with self esteem and fitting in. I struggled until I was in my twenties. I really don’t want her to do that too. I don’t want her to lose who she is in order to fit the norm. because she is different, she is amazing.
Back to last Friday, those words hung in the air for awhile. I took five deep breaths and sat down. “You are so awesome kiddo. And so loved. Why do you feel you need to impress someone? Did something happen?”
“No. I just worry a lot. I know I am a little weird and I think they might realize that one day.”
“Everybody is weird. Weird is good. Otherwise. life would be very boring. I promise you baby, you are impressive in your own right and do not need to go out of your way to impress people to like you. If you have to do that, they are not worth knowing.”
We talked a little longer but somehow my anger dissipated and was replaced with sadness. I am not ready for her to carry these weights on her heart. I don’t know what to do for her when she hurts like this. I don’t want her to change one bit. Not for others. Saturday morning, we went out and got supplies for her Doctor Who themed Valentines box and cards and grabbed some lunch. She seemed to be back to herself but my worry lingers. We haven’t talked again on the subject but we will. Instead at lunch, I put my phone away and let her control the conversation as we slowly ate our fries and sipped our “beers’ (mine was of hops, hers of root). She designed a new superhero and we made up his powers. She spoke briefly of a little crush at school. And then proceeded to go into great detail about Benjamin Franklin and his involvement in the Revolutionary War. I dare say, I may have learned a thing or two. But mostly I just sat there and thought about how cool she was already.