When Gene and I first found out that we were going to have a daughter, he immediately said, "Oh, the drama!" He said this because he had worked in youth ministry for years and in his experience with teenage girls, they can just be mean. If you are a female you know what I am talking about. And now we have been blessed with two daughters, so drama will follow us for the next 2o years, at least.
Reagan is almost 5 years old and who knew the drama would start so early. A few nights ago she was a little upset about something. When I asked her about it she immediately said that two little girls had been mean to her, making funny faces at her, calling her names, and saying that she had funny hair. Her little eyes filled up with tears and my "Momma Bear" instincts were coming alive....more about that in a minute.
I immediately prayed for the words to say, something that would heal her little heart. I told her that some girls are just mean, that she needed to do her best to stay away from those little girls, and to try and ignore those words. I told her what the Bible says about loving our enemies and being kind to those who are mean to us. I told her that she was beautiful inside and out, and that she was wonderfully and fearfully made by God. Those words seemed to help a little.
Then Reagan said, "Momma, do you know what else she said?" Of course I said I did not. Reagan continued, "The little girl said that you were stinky and had stinky hair." OH, NO SHE DID NOT TALK ABOUT ME! This little girl doesn't even know me. I am not stinky and I do not have stinky hair. Momma Bear started getting really hot.
Reagan looked up and with all of her 4 year old wisdom she said, "Momma, you are not stinky. She was just trying to hurt me." Wow, pretty deep for a little girl. We hugged and prayed and she seemed totally fine. I think she just wanted to get all of that off of her chest.
I, on the other hand, was upset that some little girl would intentionally hurt my Reagan and would talk about me in the process. I told Gene about it and shared that I would love to tell that little girl a thing or two. I could easily envision my 37 year old self putting that 5 year old girl in her place. He said, "Lesley, please don't be that Momma that goes and fights your children's battles." (We have moms like that in our youth ministry and they are not very popular.) I said that I wouldn't, but that I wanted to at least talk to this little girl's mother. Gene said that was the same thing and no, I couldn't do that either.
We saw the little girl at church last night and Reagan called out her name and said hey to her. Apparently, she had already forgiven her. The little girl turned, looked at Reagan up and down, ignored her "Hello" and walked away....with me standing there. I wanted to grab her and say, "Did you hear my daughter say hey to you?" (Parenting girls is going to be hard.) Reagan looked down at the ground and then looked at me and shrugged her shoulders. At bedtime, we prayed about the situation again.
I think I am having a harder time with this than Reagan is. It hurts to know that your children are hurting, but I know that is just part of growing up. All the experiences that she endures will shape her to be a stronger person. Apparently, they will also continue to shape me.
I can only imagine what the Junior High and High School years will look like. Oh Lord, give me strength and restraint.
Until next time...