...the year is over! What an emotionally trying year this has been. I never fathomed sending Ms. R to school would be so da-gum hard! It wasn't the whole "My baby is growing up" boo hoo stuff, I can handle that. It amazes me how fast they grow, but as of yet it doesn't make anything inside me ache to have them stay small or get younger. I'm just not that kind. However, learning to deal with my daughters lack of acceptance by the other girls in her class tore me to bits inside. It was worse than when I had to deal with it myself in high school - because she was in frickin' kindergarten. For me, the hardest part was her sad, gentle acceptance of not being accepted. Watching her slowly, day by heart wrenching day accept and deal with the fact that she has no friends in her class. Not dreading school or learning, but being left out again.
On field day they were allowed to participate or simply cheer on their fellow class mates, she choose on the whole to simply sit out because she didn't have a partner. The three legged race? I ran with her because no one else would. She doesn't like team sports because it's just another arena for her to be left out.
We have never really gave her much in the way of parties because her birthday is after school ends, but this year I allowed her to invite as many kids as she wanted because it is really important to her. I filled out the invites, she carefully wrote every kids name on the envelope ... She ended up giving away 30 invitations. FOUR kids (and Hazels girls) accepted. Three kids in her class out and out said to her face, "I don't want to come to your party" and turned away from her as she was handing out the invitations. As I watched this, my first impulse was to grab them and teach them a few manners (if ya know what I'm sayin') ... but then I looked at Ms. R and she just shrugged, gave me a small smile and moved onto the next kid. How does someone so small accept something so big and mean?
Ms. R's teacher made up a CD of all the pictures she took this year and gave all of the parents one. As I watched it, once again, all I could do was feel my heart ache. In group pictures the kids all seemed to be happy, arms around each other, laughing ... then you look a little to the back or to the side and you'd see Ms. R. By herself, shoulders hunched in slightly, trying not to look alone. Sad smile on her face. Oh my baby.
Next year I'm enrolling her in dance and riding lessons. Two things she loves, but doesn't require her to be accepted by others to be involved in. Hopefully she'll find others there that love the same thing she does and she can make friends ...
My dearest hope is that the coming school year will be easier. That she can make just one friend.