My daughter is now seven. Seven. In the Catholic Church that's considered the age of reason. Tonight that became evident to me. Grasshopper was telling me all about her friend problems at school. She is being left out. I knew this day would come. The day when the real world is gradually revealed to my innocent child. I'm not one to wish I could take the pain away, as hard as it is for me to see her hurt. No, I see this as a stepping stone. What she learns from this situation will help her in the next and on and on. It's preparation for the rest of life.
Right before she went to bed, I knelt down beside her and started to tell her a few of my stories from my past. I told her about the time my supposed friends made lists of all their friends in the order of favorite to least favorite and how I was at the bottom of their lists, even under people that we did not even play with. I told her how they ripped my school photo, posted private notes on the school doors about boys I liked, and kicked me in P.E. Then I told her about the good that came out of it: The new friends that I made, and still hold dear to my heart, the way I relied on prayer, on God and on the love of my own family.
The amazing part about it was that she listened. She could understand and empathize with that school girl that was me. It was a bit of a breakthrough in communication for us. Before I kissed her goodnight, I prayed with her and reminded her that she is never alone no matter how alone she may feel. Then I gave her a tiny toy rose to put in her pocket in case she needed to be reminded (St. Therese is her favorite Saint, so it was the perfect symbol). My little girl is growing up.