There has been trouble a-brewin’ around here lately. But I am relieved to say, I think I’ve nipped it in the bud. This time, at least. I thought I’d share what happened, on the off-chance that it may be just what you need to read. Camaraderie and all that! So here’s what happened, in brief:
I got caught up hook, line and sinker recently in an ongoing battle of wills that has begun between the LGBB and a friend. This friend and Lolly have history. They have shared the early learning classroom for the past two years. As last year’s unsavoury history repeated itself between these two girls, this year the LGBB found herself with no other familiars with whom she could stand up to the friend. It took all my willpower not to barge in and speak directly to the other child myself. Quite a simple “Stop doing that and listen to my child” would have sufficed……..
Of course it wouldn’t have! I know this is for Lolly to work out.
With the beginning of school, we were thrust into no less than seventeen new “tribes”, if you will, each with their own intricate cultures and patterns – some of them affected (and effected) by countless ancestral lines. Each child in the class room with the LGBB is coming from a different (home/family) tribe. The teacher represents yet another one – the school tribe. This is an unavoidable and necessary part of belonging to civilization. I know this. I just wasn’t prepared for the quick and obvious impact it would have on not just my child but those around her, familiar and unfamiliar.
I got caught up in my child’s grief and confusion over her friend’s actions towards her this past fortnight. Her panic. Her sense of indignation and justified pride and hurt at being belittled and told what to do (and what not to do) by a kid who was obviously flexing her muscles in this new and exciting thing called “School”. After all, these children are now beginning off-shoots of their own tribes. It starts now.
By Wednesday this week, I had heard these goings on for nigh on two weeks. That’s a long time in the life of a five year-old. It certainly felt like the now brief moments I see my daughter were being saturated with the latest her friend had done to her. So much so that I began to question out loud if that was really a “friend” at all? “Perhaps, just for the time being, you might say she is not being a good friend, Lolly,” I reasoned with her. There have been some pretty disappointing actions from this friend – ones that you’d be forgiven for assuming were designed to push my kid to the brink of her loyalty…. just to see if she’d keep running after the “friend”. She did keep running after her. Without the confidence to go it alone and find her own friends, she has so far stuck with her one familiar who has called the shots and even, on one unforgettable (unforgivable, for me, for the time being) day recently, wouldn’t go with Lolly to the toilet – Lol mistakenly thought her “toilet buddy” was required for play times too (where you don’t go alone to the toilet and must always go with your buddy). She frantically searched for her buddy and when not found, she asked this friend to go with her instead, but apparently the girl was too busy and told her “No” – so Lol wet herself. She was in fits telling me. And I was gutted thinking of my child disgracing herself with nobody to confide in. Perhaps irrationally, I directed my anger towards her little friend.
As an adult, I can see plainly this girl is no friend. She has found in my LGBB a most loyal and firm friend – she is lucky. But my child will not be her pawn, I vowed to myself after hearing this story that I’d make it my mission to show Lolly the light!
I always try to separate behaviour from the person. I begin by reiterating so-and-so has a good heart, but sometimes they might do silly things or say things that hurt others. I believe it’s important. It then leaves room for Lolly to decide whether the displayed behaviour is something she wants to tolerate or not…. but hopefully the fact remains that regardless what she decides, she has a sense that every person has a good heart. No matter what they do.
Call me naive. I just don’t see it any other way. Someone can do their worst towards me – oh, and they sure have! – but I can see that goodness flickering away in them, regardless. I think it has kept me quite sane and bitter-free all these years. Thank heavens. Because I’d make a shockingly bitter enemy.
But I digress.
I stepped out of the physicality of it all on Wednesday. Realising I had become far too enmeshed in my child’s story, I energetically handed her back the reins. There is a meditation in one of my work books that flashed into my mind – The Ladder Of Letting Go – and I went to it and read the text. And plainly, I could see that I had let my boundaries blur. From here, I let go my tightening grip on behalf of my child’s experiences. The containment of my energy and the ensuing detachment that brings will enable me to involve myself only insofar as gentle guidance and a safe place for her to bounce thoughts off. I had to also acknowledge the residual feelings of being that six year-old feeling lost and alone – both at school and at home – and not reflect any of those onto my diplomatic, self-assured, compassionate youngster.
This is it. This is the moment where, wide awake, she can be greatly influenced by my actions – and insecurities. As much as I can, I need to remain detached (not aloof, there is a difference) from the LGBB’s experiences. My constance here will see her in good stead. I know this. Practicing it is sometimes harder! But it’s my aim, nonetheless.
Adding to my resolve is the perspective I was reminded of when four days ago, a lone gunman fired on innocent school children and a teacher. It made me stop still. Take a really decent, long look at what I was doing with this situation with Lolly and her friend. Those parents sent their children to school, never to return home. I wondered what classroom antics the children might have been involved in, what tiffs with their siblings had been unresolved that morning as they went off. A situation that has seemed insurmountable, certainly for my child, for the past two weeks suddenly evaporated for me (not for her, of course).
I was able to let go my grip quite instantly. From there, while simultaneously sending compassionate thoughts out to the French community of Toulouse as they struggle to resolve their losses and shattered existence, my thoughts turned once more – as with so many things – to our Ellanor. Tune in to the memory of what it was like to be released from all my conditioning, social, family/”tribal” and otherwise stifling and rigid. A terrifying yet ultimately freeing feeling. One where I realised that I had only my own Self to truly rely on and keep me free from these external tricky factors.
It might not be Lolly’s lot to learn these things. And it might be. It’s not for me to know. That is her business. This is her life. But one thing’s for sure, I give the deepest thanks for the privilege of watching her unfold it.