Today My Daughter Broke My Heart…
Little J acted out because she’s desperately trying to walk the tightrope of acceptance. It’s obvious that she acted in a way that she probably thought would earn her some cred with the “alpha” kids. While not explicitly saying it that way, she did explain her behaviour to me and that is how I understood it.
It reminds me of my own childhood: fighting the fight within where you either stay true to yourself or sell out and feel that elusive sense of belonging.
I told her that I understood what she is going through; Daddy had those same problems when he was a kid (with some added complications). I told her (again, in terms she would understand, which are surprisingly more adult than you might think) that the only reason I was upset with her was because she clearly did what she thought someone else would like, at the expense of being true to herself. I told her that everyone thinks she is a good person; not because she has to be, but because she is by her very nature.
At the end of our chat I hugged her and told her that I loved her; I told her that I would always be proud of who she is because I know she is good.
She wrapped her arms around my neck and squeezed and then kissed me on the cheek. She pulled away and looked at me and said these words that made me both weep inside and well up with anger…
Daddy, it’s so hard to be a kid.