It's so hard when your kids go through tough times, but I am reminded by the Lord that they are not our battles to "fight" in the flesh. That doesn't mean that we don't try our best to equip our kids with encouraging advice and prayer (lots of prayer!).
As great as our overall public school experience has been, there are still some serious "mean girl" issues going on in the middle school. There is a girl (I hesitate to call her a friend) that asks #1 if she can sit with her at lunch every day and so #1 assumes they are friends because they'll also hang out together at recess. But, then the rest of the day the girl does things like call her names that I will not mention on this blog, pushed her down the stairs and never once returns a compliment (#1 will say "that's a nice shirt you're wearing" and the girl will respond, "I know, yours is ugly"). To complicate matters further, they are on the same indoor soccer team (I found this out much to my dismay when #1's team didn't have enough players so they combined with this other girl's team). It has really been a strain and #1 never knows what to expect from this girl. Of course, we've discussed this from many angles. Maybe this girl thinks she is just being "cool" or funny. Her family may talk to each other like this. No matter what #1 tries to do it just seems to get worse. Finally, yesterday the girl asked to sit with her at lunch, #1 said no and tried to explain why. The girl called her a nasty name and stalked off. Then, the rest of the afternoon every time she saw #1 she called her that same nasty name.
Well, #1 has finally had enough. She met with her school counselor (a great lady) and now the 3 of them have a meeting this morning. #1 has tried so many times to talk to this girl about her hurtful behavior, but she'll just tell #1 to "shut up". This girl is well-known (I'm not sure how well-liked) and #1 is very nervous about her making her life even more miserable by having this meeting with the counselor. I told her she is doing the right thing. She tried to handle it on her own and the situation has gotten out of hand (this girl also kicked #1 very hard in the ankle and it still hurts her sometimes, many months later).
Now that I've set the stage for you, please imagine that when I see this girl I would like to throttle her. The counselor told #1 that this girl will try to justify everything with a "I was just kidding around". Apparently, this is common at this age. But for me, it is so hard to step back and watch my kids go through this stuff. Adversity builds their character. I believe that, but who wants to watch their kids suffer? Then, I think of what our Heavenly Father watches us go through day after day, some of it self-inflicted pain from bad choices, and how His heart must break. And, He knows just when to intervene and just when to let His truth and Word guide us and comfort us. That's the kind of parent I want to be.
So, I'll be praying for her during her meeting and I'll be there to listen at the end of her school day. And, in between, I'll be trying not to fret about it!