Monday, April 11, 2005

Popular

Now I remember why I dreaded 6th grade. Every morning for an entire school year I told my mother, "I have a headache, stomach ache, toothache, I feel sick, I think I'm going to throw up,
my leg hurts...." I never landed on the magic body part that would elicit any sympathy. I went to school that year and got a perfect attendance award. My daughter is going through 6th grade social angst. Her best friend of 5 years, both from Church and school has joined a group of "popular girls" who all look alike. They've somewhat ostracized my daughter. Of course there are two sides to the story, but its 6th grade reality TV stuff. So....
I ask her tonight at dinner, "So how are you and J. getting along lately?"
She says, "She's hanging out with the popular girls. But they are only popular with themselves, everyone else thinks they're snobs and stuck up and stupid. They don't talk to me because I hang out with the other girls who don't look like them."
"Hmmm...." I say in daddy-ese. "So you don't want to be popular?"
"No. I'm glad I'm logical. They think they're popular, but no one else does. Why would I want to be part of a group like that? There's better people to hang around with at school."
"Hmmmm..." I say again. I want to say "Can you put that in writing and can I show it to you in a couple years?"
Instead I say, "Its hard to be insecure. When people don't know who they are they depend on other people to tell them who they are. I hope you'll always be yourself, not what other people tell you to be so people will like you."
"Yeah", she says, "pass the peanut butter."
I hope that meant "Yeah, I already got that down, dad, tell me something new" and not "I didn't understand a word you just said".
I guess I'll see.

2 comments:

jessenicholas said...

My bet is she's got it already. Don't forget! Just cuz your the one speakin daddyese doesn't mean she can't teach you a thing or two.

Philippa said...

Hmmm...I think the "yeah" meant, "okay I'll think about it and I'm really glad you love me even though I'm not popular." Just keep hugging her Dad, and tell her she's beautiful, not in Daddy-ese, but in a "WOW you look great today" tone. Cool?! Cool.