Someone asked me the other day if Beth was in junior high. When I said yes, this person went on to share some of their horror stories about that age: boys pulling girl’s hair, the physical awkwardness, etc. I nodded my head, but I was thinking that was just the tip of a very large iceberg. To be fair, this person was just making small talk in passing, not engaging me in a serious, drawn out discussion about the human condition. I guess what I’m trying to say is this post is not meant to pick on this person… just that it stuck in my mind.
Yesterday Beth was allowed to wear her Halloween costume to school. It was a little small but she really wanted to wear it. She bought it last year but didn’t get to wear it because she got really sick.
She felt really good about herself until she got to school.
“What, are you supposed to be dressed as a janitor?”
Actually, she was dressed as a mission specialist for a shuttle mission. She’s always been fascinated by space, but she doesn’t think she has what it takes to be a pilot. She figured her ticket to space was as a scientist. She’s had it all worked out for some time, this one.
I tell her it’s not always going to be like this. Kids grow up to be (slightly) more secure adults who don’t feel the need to drag everyone else down to make them feel better. We grow up and grow a little less dependent on acceptance from everyone, learning the acceptance from a relative few we know, love and trust is enough. I tell her kids were mean when I was growing up too but things got better. I tell her there are lots of people who love and accept her: me, Cheryl, her brother (who adores her more than she can stand at times), her grandparents.
I can see the look in her eyes. She’s not completely convinced. I guess we do what we can and hope it’s enough.