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13 March 2013

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Laura

Umm, someone had better warn the boys about Christine b/c I'm predicting a pretty clingy girlfriend. Yikes. Good luck skiing - that would give me a ton of anxiety, too.

a

Hey, if the teacher says there are no suitable companions for Celia, I'd go with that. I know it's hard to watch - especially if you're more of a person who's always surrounded by friends. But she'll be OK, and she'll find the right people eventually. The up side is that she will be much more discerning (if slightly untrusting) of other people, so when she does find those right people, they will likely be her friends for life. Meanwhile, how do you address the heartbreaking insecurity surrounding attempts at friendship? That's the tough question.

What exactly does Rich expect you to do about Moira's cartwheels, anyway? Enroll her in a class or something? It's just a cartwheel. Boys are funny.

Skiing will be fun!

Heather

My heart goes out to Celia. I was the girl who didn't really have many friends growing up, so I often spent recess either reading or shooting hoops by myself.

The good news is that she'll be totally fine. All that reading made me a spelling bee champ, and I'm really good at being alone and entertaining myself. :)

Big hugs to her (and you!).

M

Well, at least it doesn't seem to be negatively affecting Celia? She'll probably be one of those people who has a few very close friends instead of a million acquaintances - and that's a wonderful thing IMO. Your attitude about failure is also a good one. Failing at doing a cartwheel is a pretty minor way to learn a life lesson. We aren't all going to be awesome at everything we do, but we will be awesome at some things we do. You're such a good mom :)

Tai

I totally agree with Laura about Christine becoming a clingly girlfriend- ha!

My take on the Celia situation (as a non-parent, so of course I know everything!) is that if she seems fine being alone, don't stress it. I think the flip side, becoming friends with girls who are too drama-queeny, will probably not bode well for her.

Above all, them knowing that you love them for whoever they are is the most important. Which you're doing an awesome job of!

Ninabi

I didn't have many friends myself when I was Celia's age. But one true good friend can make all the difference. My mother volunteered in the school library and said there was a fascinating girl a year younger than me, a 5th grader, who was new to town and wasn't well received due to a physical disability. Here's her number, call her, my mother implored. Like Celia, I was so afraid to ask. So afraid. When I finally did, it opened up a whole new world- met a kid who spoke multiple languages, gardened,enjoyed opera and theater. In return, she adored all the forbidden foods we had at our house- mayo, bacon, sugary treats her mother forbid. I hope the same for Celia- a friend who will be kind and fun.

Skiing will be okay. Will your girls be in ski classes? My daughter-the-skier reminds me that there's something for everyone- she lets me know there's even tubing slopes with a tow line up if you don't even care for the bunny slopes. Scenery will be gorgeous and hopefully the people watching will provide some juicy stories, if my daughter's ski slope reporting is to be believed.

Dana

This post broke my heart so many times. Growing up is so damn tough. I remember all that drama in elementary of being excluded, then being included again, and then all of that anxiety about if people liked me or not. I feel for Celia, I always felt like the odd man out too. However, I turned out ok (haha!) and I have a lot of great friends now. I think it's great that when she does have a gaggle of friends, it will all be people who love her as is and that she loves back.

Laura

The way you wrote this piece was both beautiful and heartbreaking.

M

The trick to doing a good cartwheel is putting your first hand down right next to your front foot and pointing your toes as you go around....I have no tricks for making friends as I am not good at that...we all excel...we all fail...we all turn out okay...it just breaks the mom's heart when it is all taking place.

H

As an anxiety-driven control freak, it was very hard to let my kids fail. (Still is, but they're 21 and 24 now so almost everything is completely out of my control!) As I was raising them, the prospect of them feeling hurt and the humiliation of failure was so hard. It was actually seeing other parents handling THEIR kids and OTHER kids failing and learning to pick themselves up, dust themselves off and grow that helped me see the value in letting my kids fail. I think our hearts are too closely tied to our own children sometimes to see that objectively.

Fingers crossed for safe skiing!

Sarah Piazza

Ugh. Little girls - esp. 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders - are not my favorites. So cliquey. I was bullied by some girls when I was in 5th grade (like many of us?), and the bullying was about who was or wasn't friends with whom. The idea that all of us could be friends at the same time was apparently off the table? I feel for your girls.

Georgia

As the mom of an 11-yr old girl I totally feel what you're saying here. Fourth grade was awful with girl squabbles on the playground every day and reports from this mom or that one about who was playing or not playing with whom. I tried to stay as uninvolved as possible as it wasn't bullying behavior or anything really destructive - just girl drama that some moms like to pick up on and take as their own. I admire you for standing back a bit as it's so hard while it's happening. I can already see the benefit of my not getting so involved with class/playground disputes as my daughter seems to pick up the general attitude from me that EVERYTHING is not a huge deal and mostly stuff like this will work itself out. That said, I'm an older mom - could have birthed many of the other moms in the class - and this is a huge factor. Much more mellow now than I would have been at 35 or even 40. I'm old I tell you : )

elz

Excellent plan. I think you've got to let kids fail every once in awhile. I've seen too many completely unprepared young adults-who have no idea how to handle failure. It is not pretty. Of course, ask me in 20 years and we will see if my plans work out...anyway, good luck on the slopes!

Cartwheels are overrated. I can still do them like a textbook gymnastics book and yet nobody has EVER asked me about them on a resume, or invited me to compete on a team... not that I'm bitter or anything. Good luck on the slopes!

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