I just left my child at school in tears. I kept my face on until I was out of sight, but once I was alone in the car, I had my own waterworks. One of the most exciting mornings of my daughter's year turned to disappointment after she found out that her two best friends are not in her class, but in another one -- together. My heart is breaking.
My husband thinks this will be good for her, a chance for her to make new friends, instead of being in the same clique she's been in since kindergarten. He's probably right -- and besides, I know that she will look to us to get clues as to how upset she should be. If we're positive about it, then perhaps she will be, too.
But she is so social, so into her friends. She spent the summer with these girls (we call them the Three Musketeers), excitedly talking about the new school year, what they'd wear, which cute boys they hoped would be in their class and who they'd sit next to. They'd always been in the same class together -- no one even thought to consider they might be split up. And now she's the odd man out, while her girlfriends (in her mind, at least) have gone on without her. How can I be positive when I'm so sad for her?
She's been pretty lucky in the friend department so far, which is the opposite of my own elementary-school experience. (I was the shy one who always wanted to be liked, but was never really successful at it.) Seeing her disappointment this morning, I was sent back to fourth grade, and I felt sick for her. I want to gather her in my arms and protect her from this hurt and unfairness, because things like this are worse than any physical pain. But then, that is what my mother did to me whenever some drama would happen at school: She'd play the "poor baby" game and let me stay home for a couple days. It did me no good, even though her intentions were in the right place.
I should have been taught to face my problems, and to try and find the silver lining.
So that's what I'll have to do with my daughter. There will be time for hugs and the wiping of tears, but I will have to (even in my own inexperience) try to make this sound like a new and exciting adventure.
P.S. This happened yesterday, and my heart is now warmed instead of broken. My daughter's two friends and their moms surprised us with flowers and pizza after school, with reassurances that the Three Musketeers will always remain together -- regardless of which classes they're in. My daughter's still a little bummed, but feels so much better. Thank goodness for good friends!