Is everybody happy?

No. Everybody is not happy.

Sophie turns 11 tomorrow, on 9/22/10, and I remember giving birth to her after spending the evening with John pacing the halls at Kaiser Permanente Moanalua. Giving birth the first time is no picnic. Neither are the others, but, at least you have a better idea of what to expect and you’re more relaxed (and drug free!).

We’ll do the usual birthday things, and a family event is delayed for two weeks so that we can all be together and not exhausted. That’s OK. Sophie likes elongated birthday events.

But what would I tell her? What advice would I give my child who is at the moment going through a little girlfriend drama that I wish she could avoid because she’s so smart, fun and amazing? That you can’t please everyone all the time, and if you try to, people see you as just a disposable fangirl.

I’m still that girl and I get discarded all the time. And I keep going back for more because maybe this time it will work and they’ll like me. They’ll REALLY, REALLY like me. Sigh. It’s exhausting.

Usually, and I’ve told her this a few times, it’s when you give up the caring, you quit being there so much, that your stock’s half life inches up. It’s been happening to me since I was a kid.

I’m never going to learn.

So I can’t expect her to assimilate the wisdom of my ongoing experience with heartache. She’ll have to throw herself into relationships, into groups, into activities,into projects, into life, and expect every once in a while to get thrown back, scraped up and torn apart so much so that the geyser of tears seems impossible to cap.

It either turns you into a character, or it builds character. I think she’s going to be alright. Certainly better at all of this than I ever was.

Happy Birthday, Kiddo. Wish I could protect you forever.



By lavagal

Hawaii Kai wife and mom. Melanoma Stage 3a Cancer survivor. English Language Arts teacher, English Learners Coordinator, and Paraprofessional Tutor. Super sub teacher. Dormant triathlete. Road cyclist and Masters swimmer. Gardener. Mrs. Fixit. Random dancer. Music Curator. A teenager trapped in an aging body. Did you know 60 is the new 40? It is.

1 comment

  1. Some lessons have to be learned through experience. Just reassure her that friends are flighty at best, especially during middle school and she should stay true to herself no matter what. My parents always told me that even though they knew I was playing the game to try and get in with the perceived cool group. I eventually figured out that I didn’t need the cool group and I still managed to have a thoroughly enjoyable high school experience. She’s going to be fine Paula!

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