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The Fickle Friendships of Five Year olds

by Deborah Cruz

This morning,we awoke to  a dreary morning.These are the hardest to get the girls our of bed. I decided to get the morning started off on the right foot. I cranked up the i tunes and we had a early morning dance party to Liztomania. I know, not conventional but it got the girls up and moving and in a good mood. The rest of the morning went relatively smoothly.

We even arrived at drop off a few minutes early and Bella wanted to wait for her new friend. Yes, after all the drama of ‘feeling left out’ she has finally made a “best friend” in class. She has loads of friends outside of school but we all know how imperative it is to have at least one at the place we spend everyday.It’s been great. She has someone to play with and talk to, stand in the morning line with. They see each other at mass and they walk, arm in arm down to children’s liturgy. This friendship has been a source of heart happiness all around.Bella is actually looking forward to getting to school. ever morning.

But this morning, things went horribly wrong. In reality , it was not a big deal but through the eyes of a five year old, it was pretty monumental. As I said, we were specifically waiting for this little girl. Bella refused to get in line, lest she end up stuck by someone other than her bestie. Her excitement was palpable. So, there we stood and then..she arrived. Bella’s little face lit up like a Christmas tree. I was wearing what could only be described as a cat that ate the canary grin , myself. How could I not be, Bella was so happy.

I watched the little girl approaching and she had that  running late/woke up late/ pissed at the world look on her face. As an adult, I knew that  these were the tell tale signs of a bad mood. But before I could stop the train wreck.. it happened. Bella made a b line for the little girl and when she ran up in line next to the little girl, still smiling and excited, her excited chatter was greeted by what I refer to as the,  “Why the hell are you speaking to me” blank expression.You know the one, we’ve all seen it once or twice in our lifetime. That look that makes you feel about 2 inches tall; simultaneously breaking your heart and making you feel stupid in the same moment.

I watched as all the color drained from Bella’s face and I could virtually see her heart sink and her stomach knot. She became silent, and she looked at me. her eyes nervously  darted towards me and cried out ” What’s going on?Why is my friend being mean to me?” I saw her eyes welling with tears. In my head, I was willing her not to cry. She held my gaze with a nervous smile.I had to swallow a huge lump in my throat because while I understood that this little girl was just having a bad morning, Bella did not .All that she knew was that her best friend wouldn’t talk to her.

Of course, I came over and gave Bella a hug and kiss in line and told her that I loved her. I also told her to not worry about it, maybe the little girl was just having a hard time waking up. Then I walked to the back of the line to wait for Bella to go into the building. She held my gaze, as if it were my hand and I was giving her strength. The bell rang and as she walked away, I saw her head drop a little. My heart was breaking for her.

Her class is in the basement and from the drop off, you can see her classroom. I never linger and watch her come into class but she looked so deflated and defeated that I could not, in good conscience,  leave without knowing she was OK. I watched as she came into class and made yet another failed attempt at talking to her friend. My heart broke a little more. Then she continued to follow the little girl around the room. She was determined. Then they sat down and I realized the connection, their best friend status stems from seating geography; probably nothing else. Finally, she looked up and her sister and I smiled and waved. Then we exchanged air kisses. I gave her the thumbs up and she smiled. Then the little girl caught sight of us and I smiled and gave her a thumbs up too. Next, both girls were waving their arms wildly, smiling and giggling with one another as they shared this moment of Gabs and I standing outside smiling at them. I left and I felt that maybe I had righted the injustice. At least they were talking.

I know that I can’t live my daughters lives for them. But as their mother, I want to shield them from all the unnecessary hurt in the world. I think that is pretty common for us Mommies. I walked to my car and I almost lost it because I’m not sure what hurt or happiness the day holds for Bella and worse, I have no control over it. You know, I can take anything the world wants to throw at me but I become extremely fragile when it comes to my girls. My heart is worn like an exposed nerve when it comes to them. I realize that these incidents are part of growing up and any hurt feelings are just casualties of getting to that bigger part of their life. But all I want to do is wrap her tightly in my arms and shield her from all the injustices and hurt in the world. When it comes to my love for my girls there is no reason, no boundaries, no diplomacy…just love.

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Dani @ OK, Dani 2010/09/22 - 9:20 am

OH gosh my heart hurt for Bella too 🙁
I'm glad she at least has one friend at school though.

New follower here, forget where I found ya, but glad I did.

You're a kickass mommabear!


Busy Working Mama 2010/09/22 - 9:52 am

Ahh, poor sweetie! Glad you were there to give her a big old hug. My 3 year old is just starting to learn about moods. The other day she flat out say "I'm not in a good mood this morning, but I'll try not to throw a fit."

Liz 2010/09/22 - 10:16 am

I feel for you and her. My oldest is SUCH a tenderheart, and something like that would shake her to the core.

Liz 2010/09/22 - 11:44 am

Hi there! I left an award for you on my blog. You can find it here:

MarkyDsMom 2010/09/22 - 11:45 am

oh goodness, im too pregnant and emotional for this post! i dang near started crying just feeling for bella in that line and haveing her feelings hurt liek that… ughh… i so dread the days of school!!

Kelly 2010/09/22 - 3:44 pm

I think that it's awesome that you were able to not just brighten Bella's day but the other little girl as well.

It sucks that our kids have to get hurt…those growing pains are really hard…but it's nice to know that mommy can kiss them away, at least sometimes!

Good job Mommy! :o)

Mrs. Call Me Crazy 2010/09/22 - 7:43 pm

Awe! Poor Bella! You're a good mommy.

GossamerJewelBox 2010/09/22 - 11:31 pm

Awwww. Sweet girl. I have a 5 year old in kindergarten as well. Luckily, we haven't run across this type of thing yet- but I remember all too well some of my own encounters. it's bound to happen. And you are right. we canot live their lives. We just need to be there.

Wonderful blog. thanks for following mine- I am now following you as well!!

Rose 2010/09/22 - 11:31 pm

Hey there.. I'm here to help you with your goal from MBC! You are such a great mommy. With a two year old its nice to hear some other stories of what our future will hold!

And hope you have a great birthday weekend!

Marina DelVecchio 2010/09/23 - 7:58 am

You are on fantastic mom! Leaving our kids in the hands and topsy turvy emotions of other kids is the hardest thing. When my son, now in 2nd grade, tells me when kids are mean to him, I want to go to school and rip their hearts out. Not a very mommy-like approach, but he's so nice. He refuses to be mean back because he doesn't want to hurt their feelings. Anyway, this was a beautifully told post, and you did a great job changing the mood for both these girls. Thanks for visiting my site Marinagraphy and leaving a comment. I appreciate the visit. Marina

Shopper Gal 2010/09/23 - 9:59 am

What a sweet pea. It sounds like you're a fantastic Mama 🙂 Hang in there!!
Thank you for your lovely comment on my blog! I'm now following you, too!

Shopper Gal


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