Monday, August 9, 2010

Am I Ready for This?

My daughter came home from preschool last week and proceeded to tell me that her friends told her she wasn't pretty because she didn't have her ears pierced. 

She's five.

I can't believe this kind of stuff is happening already.  And my daughter, being the emotional, heart-on-her-sleeve kid that she is, really had her feelings hurt that these girls said this to her.  I can only imagine what it will be like once she starts school in a couple of weeks. 

I thought I was ready... ready for my big girl to wear her backpack into her Kindergarten class, ready for her to officially be a big kid.

I don't think I'm ready for the teasing, the tears that will surely ensue, the way that kids can just be so darn cruel.  I mean, this is my baby girl, so full of life and curiosity and joy.  I'm not ready for that to be crushed by someone's hurtful words or actions.  "Sticks and Stones" is a nice little mantra to teach them, but let's be honest here.  Words hurt, and sometimes much more than sticks or stones or any object one could find on a playground.

I know that this is all a part of growing up and there really is nothing I can do about it, but sometimes don't you just wish you could?  Don't you wish you could shelter them and protect them forever?  Unfortunately, doing so would mean they'd miss out on all the good things too... like making friends that they'll have forever, learning and experiencing new things, and becoming the little people they are destined to be.

I just hope I've done my job of raising her well enough that she can recognize and enjoy the good parts and forget about or forgive the not so great parts of growing up.

And if not, mama will put some sticks and stones in the backpack, just in case.

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