Thursday, November 03, 2005

Any advice?

It happened again. A little girl at Boogie’s preschool said something to her that just breaks my heart. Boogie loves to draw. Ever since she could hold a crayon, she’s loved to scribble. Lately, her drawings are getting better. She can draw faces, and bodies with hands and feet. And she loves to draw flowers. She can stand at her easel and draw for hours.

But yesterday, one of the girls told her that the flowers she draws are ugly. She said she wasn’t good at drawing flowers. This little girl is about a year older and in another class, but in the mornings they all play together. This is a little girl who Boogie mentioned last week as one of her new best friends.

When my husband picked up Boogie from preschool, she nonchalantly told him about it. He told her, as he did when the other told her that she didn’t like her, to just say, “That’s OK. I like my flowers.”

This morning, as we got ready for school, Boogie said she wanted to draw some flowers for daddy. While I got Dak ready, she started drawing. Then she got frustrated. “I can’t do it! I messed up on the flowers!” I looked at them, and they looked like her flowers usually do. But now something has been planted into her brain that has told her she isn’t good enough.

I told her I loved the flowers, but she said she needed help. That she couldn’t do it by herself. I drew some flower stems in green and then told her to draw the petals. She started drawing flowers that were even better than she’s ever drawn, but suddenly she stopped and said, “I can’t do it. I can’t draw flowers.”

I wanted to cry, but I just told her, “If you believe her, than you won’t be able to draw flowers. But if you want to draw flowers, you can’t believe what she says. Daddy and I love your flowers, and he even took them to his kids at school, and they loved them too.” At that point, it was time to go, so I told her we’d get her some more paper (the roll of paper in her easel ran out because she draws so much), and we could practice flowers when we got home.

On the way to school, I called my husband and told him what happened. I told him how it frustrated me that just one unkind word could affect Boogie so much. I was spelling things out so she wouldn’t know what I was saying, but since she’s a genius, she caught on. I heard a little voice from the back seat say, “Mom, don’t worry about it. Don’t worry about the flowers.” I hope she continues to stay strong. I pray that God will watch over her and keep her safe, and to give her strength to endure unkind words.

I watched Boogie hesitantly walk over to the girl this morning, but she didn’t sit down to draw with her. Boogie told me that the girl also told her yesterday that she didn’t want to be friends. I know that happens with little girls. It’s probably why most of the friends I’ve ever had have been guys. They just don’t work the same way.

I just want her to be happy, and am trying to instill a strong confidence in her that she can do anything she wants to do, and that it doesn’t matter what other people say or think. But I can imagine that it hurts, because I feel it, too.

On the way to work, I was behind a car with a sticker on the window that said, “Girls are evil.” That is so true.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Reminiscing ...

I told this story to the girls at lunch today, and thought you might enjoy taking a trip with me down memory lane to reminisce about an event that I wrote about in a post a couple of years ago. Enjoy!

August 2003
Today my husband and I actually had a date. An afternoon without little Boogie where we could feel like the days when we were young and carefree, able to take in an afternoon movie without worrying about someone else.

We went to see Seabiscuit, a movie I've been dying to see since I read the book a few months ago. It was a great movie, and yes, I cried! I do have to admit that the book was even better (I guess most books are). I know they couldn't have made the movie as wonderfully intense as the book without it being a week-long mini-series, but it was a great effort nonetheless. Who knew I'd be so interested in a book/movie about a racehorse? Certainly not me if you'd asked six months ago.

The main thing is that we finally took advantage of having my mother-in-law so close and spent the afternoon, just the two of us. But an interesting thing happened as we embarked on our date. I guess our new-found freedom got to us, because we reverted to childlike behavior reserved for drunken frat-boys and trailer park trash on Cops.

I was driving to the movie theater and was coming up on an intersection where I had the green light. As I drew near, this person on a side street turned right, directly in front of me. I came right up behind him, honked my horn and moved into the left lane. He then cut me off again, moving into the left lane and coming within inches of my bumper. My husband was yelling and flipped him off. Then we see three hands from the guys in the car flipping us off as well.I moved back into the right lane because I was going to have to make a right turn soon, and passed them. As we did so, they started flipping us off and yelling, so my husband yelled, "Bring it!"

As we reached the next light, which was red, they pulled in behind us. The guy in the passenger seat yelled out the window, "What did you say?" My husband said, "I said bring it!" The passenger then kept yelling, "What? I can't hear you? What? I can't hear you?" I just started getting mad and yelled out my window to the driver that he shouldn't cut people off, especially when I had the green light. He yelled back that I shouldn't drive so fast. (I just shake my head now at the idiocy of our banter: if we weren't yelling, it could have passed for a relatively civil conversation about driving habits. All the while the passenger kept yelling "What? I can't hear you?" over and over.)

So the light turns green and I move into the far right lane to turn, and they move back to the left lane. The passenger could still be heard chanting his mantra, the driver had lost interest, and the poor guy in the back seat just kept looking straight ahead. I could just picture him thinking, "All I wanted to do was go to Taco Bell ... please get me out of the car."

As I turned, I looked over at the passenger and said, "What? I can't hear you!" and turned right. Then my husband and I looked at each other and asked, "What are we doing?" Of course we would never have fought them. I've never been in a fight in my life. My husband is certainly not the type to provoke others. Was it just all of our pent-up frustration at being home so much? Maybe. Did we just want to sample a little slice of life outside of our safe home environment? Nah. Are we just tired of all of the bad drivers out there who put others' lives at risk? Probably so.

So that was our excitement for the day ... a little scrapping with the guys in the maroon Hyundai, a great movie full of action and tears, and a little hand-holding on the ride home to see our little Boogie.