There is a “mean girl” in Lilly’s life, and I hate her. Okay, hate is a strong word, after all they’re only four, and it’s only preschool, and all of them are only just learning how to be friends. But still, a little part of me kinda hates her. Objectively I understand this little girl is just a little girl; she’s probably saccharine sweet most of the time. Objectively I also understand at some point all little girls stand on both sides of the mean girl line, even my perfect Lillian will be mean to someone at some point. But this kid is mean to MY kid, now.
When Lilly talks about her mean girl it transports me to 2nd grade and Maya stinkin’ Lewis (not that I’m still bitter…). Maya had a date book, a DATE BOOK, and you had to make an appointment to sit next to her at lunch. Somehow my appointment always got erased. Anyway, Maya had a Valentine’s Day party, but she didn’t invite me. I really wanted to go, and apparently I had no shame, because I asked her to let me. She said I could come IF I had a red sweater– all red with no pattern– I didn’t. I BEGGED my mom to buy me one; she wouldn’t.
For L it’s the same story different characters. Little Miss So’n’So won’t play with Lilly because, “I’m 4 1/2 and you’re only 4”. Well, Lilly’s 4 1/2 now, and when she found out, her first words were, “I can’t wait to go to school and tell So’n’So so she’ll play with me.” My heart broke the minute she said it; So’n’So wasn’t going to play with her anymore than Maya was going to invite me to her party. Red sweater, 4 1/2, it doesn’t matter. Sure enough, when L got in the car after preschool she burst into tears, “So’n’So said she’s not 4 1/2 anymore, she’s 4 3/4. What’s 3/4? When will I be 4 3/4?” I’ve always hated fractions.
Dangit. I didn’t think anything could suck more than being in a mean girl’s cross hairs; I was wrong. Watching L gut through this, oh, it rips my heart.
I told her, “don’t waste your time trying to play with someone who doesn’t want to play with you. She’s not worth it.” But if Lilly’s anything like me, I’ll have to say that sentence many more times, and someday, I’ll probably have to replace play with love. I wish I could make her learn the lesson now, for good, before too much heart break. I want to shake her and shout, “You are worth being wanted. YOU are WORTH being WANTED. And more importantly, your worth isn’t determined by who wants you.”
Unfortunately, some lessons are only learned when they’re lived, and lived, and lived again. I’ll try and teach her to guard her heart, but I have a feeling she’ll have to learn some of it herself- at 4 and 14 and 24 and probably even 44+.
Would it be wrong to teach her how to throw a punch?
Never mind, don’t answer that, I don’t want to know– I wanna keep my options open.