It is hard being Abby these days. And a lot of times it’s hard being Abby’s mom. But, this isn’t about me, at least not for right now.
My little girl used to be confident and brave and outgoing and charming. And then she started kindergarten. And I feel like I could just stop typing right there because just typing that sentence alone makes me want to cry. Some days it feels like we threw her to the wolves. She has become shy and timid and so very, very scared of nearly everything pretty much overnight.
She is scared of:
- Going to the second storey by herself
- Performing at her winter concert
- Any sporting event where someone might fall and get hurt
- The Survivor challenges in case someone gets hurt
And that’s just the list that I thought of spur of the moment.
And she is trying to figure out who she is and where she belongs and who her friends are. I attended a birthday party with her last week and watching her there among all those girls broke my heart. She was a periphery friend at best. She is not the coolest kid there. She is not even the second or third coolest kid there. No little girls are running over to her to beg her to play with them. It’s not that I want her to be the coolest kid. I really, really don’t. That requires a bit of overconfidence and a bit of a sense of bossiness or show-offness that I don’t want to see in my daughter. But, I know that friendships are an important part of going to school.
She has two girls** that she refers to as her best friends and I can tell you quite honestly that these girls wouldn’t even mention Abby as one of their friends let alone their best friends. (ie. One of these girls has a birthday party this weekend with oodles of little friends and Abby did not receive an invite.) She is trying to emulate these girls because she worships them. And so we are receiving attitude and whining and head-tilting eye-rolling as a result which adds to the “it’s hard being Abby” as she then receives discipline at home.
I know that it’s just kindergarten and I know that this too shall pass and next year could be completely different. But, it’s hard. It’s hard to watch and it’s hard to be her. And I am determined to send God with her to kindergarten every day and I am determined to make her home one of safety and love (in amongst the discipline).
I just find myself wanting to shout from the rooftops (and to myself): “PLEASE, world, be kind to her; it’s hard being Abby these days!”* To the point that we had to help her write a letter to Santa begging him not to come to our house at Christmas. Although, in all fairness with this one, the idea of an old fat strange man coming to my house uninvited in the middle of the night to eat our food and drink our milk seems a little frightening to me too.
** They have long blonde hair. And that is a big part of the reason (she told me) that Abby picked them to be her best friends. So, our girl, with the stunningly beautiful dark brown hair is also apparently envious of blonde.