Thursday, February 03, 2011
Need. More. Chocolate.
The weights of the world -- both big and small -- really push hard on my shoulders and back. Things that seem amazingly unfathomable crowd my mind and usurp my thoughts.
And then comes something little that's personal and sad -- seemingly so small compared to the other quandaries I've been pondering -- and my heart breaks.
It's not that it is insignificant. I don't believe for one moment that any sadness is that. Each has its own weight, to be sure, but each is felt differently by the recipient and those who love her. In the big scheme of things and looking back years later, maybe the "happening" didn't deserve the attention it received. But in the moment it can feel devastating.
A childhood crush. A fun and forever friendship formed.
Or so we thought.
Emily liked a boy (I'll call "Ralph") since she was in preschool. It was just a crush, mere puppy love, and completely harmless.
He was a part of the homeschool group we used to attend, but he was a grade older than her.
She dreamt girlish and fun dreams about marrying him when she grew up. She thought of the children they might have together and where they would live and how much fun it would be to be married to him. Nothing any other girl of 10 or 11 doesn't think about.
We stopped going to the group when I wasn't needed as a teacher anymore. It was difficult to scrape together the amount of money needed for it, and, as it was a fair distance away from us, we felt it might be time to move on.
It was a sad day.
Fast forward two years and Emily is now a proud and happy member of Facebook. She enjoys "seeing" her school friends on there and has even caught up with a few of her old ones from the homeschool group. She noticed "Ralph" amongst others and decided to friend him along with his brother and several other boys from the group. Her crush had all but disappeared since she's met other nice boys along the way.
Then when he didn't answer her friend requests she decided to ask him if he remembered her. His response was somewhat surprising -- especially to me since I always thought him to be a nice and polite boy. He wanted to know why she wanted to be friends with him. She said she thought they were friends. He told her to come back when she had a boyfriend and he might friend her then.
My heart froze.
Memories of my own such encounters and stories of my mom's similar encounters flooded over me. It was the sort of thing that you hope your child -- no matter how old -- never has to experience for herself.
Years of fairytale friendship and silly dreams and happy thoughts burned to a crisp in that moment.
In fairness, Emily handled it very well -- though she may have secretly cried later in her bed.
Inwardly, I did not handle it well.
I know there are lessons to be learned about wearing hearts on sleeves and the hard knocks of growing up, etc. And, in this case, they have been learned, I'm sure.
Yet, it's never ever easy to watch your child be hurt...for any reason. For some reason it feels like you've worn your heart on your sleeve right alongside her. The pain goes right to the middle of your soul.