Sunday, May 19, 2013

Mean Girls

Dear Morgan,

Your dad called me at work on Friday, extremely upset. One of your teachers approached him when he was dropping you off at school and asked if they "could talk for a few minutes," a phrase no parent ever wants to hear. They met for a little while, and your dad learned that you and one of your friends had been mean to another girl in your class. Not just unwilling to share, not just cutting in line at the slide, but the kind of mean that made that little girl feel unwanted. You told her she wasn't welcome, wasn't part the group, wasn't good enough.

We were devastated. As a teacher, your dad takes bullying very seriously. As parents, we were mortified that our daughter would ever intentionally hurt another person. And as someone who was bullied when she was little, my heart broke to think of the sadness in that little girl's eyes and the heaviness in her heart when she realized you weren't going to accept her. Yes, I know you're only four, but these moments are the beginnings of how mean girls are made.

We are raising you to be compassionate, caring, and sensitive to the needs of those around you. We are trying to lead by example, demonstrating love and friendship in our marriage and in our family. We want you to be the best little person you can be, no matter how tempting it might be to fall in behind those who make poor choices or define their own happiness at the expense of others. Morgan, we want you to be strong, strong enough to make your own decisions, strong enough to know how to stand up for yourself, and strong enough to help protect those who can't.

Before he left you, your dad talked to you about all of these things, trying to convey them in a way that you would understand. We spent the day wondering, worrying, thinking about whether you really understood the gravity of what had happened and how important it was for you to give that little girl a soft place to land.

When we picked you up, this was the note stuck to your cubby:
(Yes, I erased the little girl's name.)

Your life is going to be filled with opportunities to either lift others up or tear them down. Today, you lifted someone up. My dearest Morgan, I am so very proud of you.

I love you.


1 comment:

Patty said...

That was beautiful... Yes I have tears! I am glad you were made aware of this and I am glad you are taking it serious. Morgan is a leader and she has a precious heart and soul. I am confused to hear this side of her. I hope she apologized to that little girl! Love you Morgan, Grammie