Ellabelle has this friend at school. She always talks about her.
“What’d you do today?”
“Played with Willow.”
She’s even asked if Willow can come to her birthday party in July. This kid seemed like BFF status the past few weeks.
I took Ellabelle into school one Monday, and Willow was already there. It makes my mornings so much easier cause I can get her to let me leave quickly and without incident cause she wants to go play with Willow. So I sent her off and had a mommy moment of watching my girl run off to play with her friend. Too my dismay, Willow yelled, “No! Get away! I don’t want to play with you!” and then pushed Ellabelle.
Ellabelle, realizing I was still standing there, came running over to me crying. My heart was shattered. All I wanted to do was scoop up my girl and run out of there and take her to get ice cream because I love her and she’s one of my favorite people in the whole world and no one should ever treat her like that. My mind was in hyperdrive. Thankfully, the teacher stepped in and took both girls and talked to them. And I fled.
I was shook up in the car. This little girl is the sun in the middle of my universe (along with her sister). She made me a mama. She is smart and funny and kind. I couldn’t wrap my head around what I saw. Josh thankfully talked me through my moment of mommy panic because he’s more level headed than I am.
I hate that my sweet innocent girl experienced something so, shall we say, “grown up.” Her sweet soul doesn’t understand these things. It’s clean and pure and free of this sort of nastiness from other people. Eventually, the world is going to break her down and tarnish her with the ugly truths. But she’s only 4. I didn’t think these things start this early. I’m sure they do and, rationally, I know this is normal. I’m just not ready to have people be mean to my kid.
The next day after school, Ellabelle complained in the car that Willow wouldn’t play with her again. So we advised her to play with someone else instead. And she did on Wednesday, and she seemed fine. Then the next day, when I dropped her off, she ran into the classroom and joined a boy playing a game and he yelled, “We don’t want you playing!”
It’s a rough time for a delicate momma heart. She seems like such a little baby to me still. This mama bird wants to keep her baby in the nest and protect her. Josh swears this will be how she learns social norms and how to act around people. That doesn’t mean I have to like it.
I was picked on and made fun of and felt like an outcast for all of grade school. I don’t want Ellabelle (or Matilda) to grow up with insecurities and self doubt simply because of other kids. And I know the most important thing is to make sure they both know they have a safe place at home with accepting and open arms.
We all want the best for our kids. We all want people to love or at least be nice to our kids. Unfortunately, that’s not how life always goes. I will teach my girls to be kind to everyone. I will also teach them how to properly handle when someone isn’t nice to them. I have to let my little birds leave the nest and test their wings. I’m just gonna have to to grow a tougher skin on this mama heart of mine.