Last week my heart got broken by a 7 year old girl who lives two houses away from mine. I knew it would eventually happen, but not this fast.
Ever since the weather in Vancouver got ‘warm’ I experimented letting Milla go outside our house to play with the kids in our complex. There’s a big common area where they all play, and since our patios are connected to it, sometimes you’ll see and hear kids running from door to door yelling, happy, being kids.
These kids are a little older than mine, the youngest from the group is 7, so Milla pretty much follows the kids’ lead wherever they go.
Our building is full with boys, and besides my girl, there are 2 other young girls, both sisters, age 7 and 10. Milla loves them equally and always peeks hoping to see them when passing by their house. Their mom is a single mom who works during the day and usually cooks dinner by the time we arrive home – which is around the time we find them playing outside with the boys.
The first time Milla was asked to join them I went with them and kept my distance. It was cute to see my little girl interacting with other kids, older than her, and still getting along great. This was promising. This was an invitation to the possibility of short-time freedom and keeping the kid active until dawn hours, you know like our parents used to do with us as kids (what? was it only me?).
I have been in awe these girls have been so friendly to her, always looking after my little one when trying to play with their big bikes, or taking turns in the swings, these girls were always looking after my kid making sure she was safe. I felt safe.
They were getting under my skin. I started warming up to them in a way I don’t usually feel. They were becoming close friends to my kid, they were becoming family to me.
But something changed last week. After we arrived home, my little one was looking for the girls as usual but was only able to see one boy peeking through the fence and giggling. I thought he was just nervous to see me with my kid together. He was in the girls’ house playing with them. The boy kept closing the gate as in “stay away” and opening it as in “I was kidding”, repeatedly.
I thought the boy was playing until the youngest of the girls, the one that is 7, opened the gate and walked out from the patio and said to me in a free and light voice “we don’t want to play with Milla. She is boring. And she doesn’t like to share with us. Sometimes she doesn’t want to play the same games we want to play, because she is smaller than us. That’s why we don’t want to play with her. And she is boring.”
My heart raced. I felt a bucket of cold water was running through my insides and a stabbing pain through my heart. Was she insulting my kid? MY KID?
I guess I understand the saying “we live through our kids” better now. Because it felt it wasn’t just my kid, it was MY kid, it was my ME.
But. The person who broke my heart is only a kid! A kid with no intention to break anyone’s heart. Looking at it with a cold mind, she was just notifying her reasons for dismissing my kid from playing with them. I, however, did ask her to stop saying Milla was boring. That was not nice of her calling her that way. Milla was just younger than them, but not boring. She is pretty entertaining and full of grace with friends her own age. She understood and was cool. They all were.
But, why does it still bother me so much?! It’s been a week and these words are stuck with me. It’s ridiculous. That’s what kids do, right?! Kids are expected to be enemies one day and wake up one morning being the best friends ever seen.
While it’s been a process to let go and not take things personal (where they obviously aren’t), I’m still learning to be a better parent and to help my kid deal and cope with rejection because life is full of it. It all goes without saying the situation resolved, the next day the kids were playing as nicely as they had always been. But in the back of my mind (and in my heart) I know I should be preparing for the next emotional hit. Motherhood is going to be a fun ride.
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