Tomorrow is field day for my girls. Caroline is excited that she gets to hula hoop, eat a popsicle and play with her friends outside for 2 hours. Hope is dreading it.
A few weeks ago, the 4th graders started picking teams for tug-of-war and Hope was on a team that was full of all the strongest girls--until the next day, when another friend--who had been absent the day before--wanted to join. Hope, feeling like the girls wanted her friend more than her, gave up her spot. And she has agonized over it every day since.
She joined another team of girls who she likes, but she is very concerned that she is going to lose tomorrow--and Hope, like her mom, doesn't lose often and does not like the feelings it brings when she does. Being the good mom that I am (ha!) I was explaining to her that winning wasn't everything and that nobody would remember who won this time next year. But, once again, I was wrong--they all still talk about who won last year and that's why they stacked the team with all the strong and the most competitive girls in 4th grade--minus Hope. That's what I get for trying to say the "right" thing.
I'm thankful I don't have to go head to head with my friends at tug of war anymore. And I don't worry about people liking me as much as I used to (of course, that might be because I don't have time to hang out with all the people I like now, so if I tick a few off, it will make it easier to connect to those who are left).
But, deep down, most of us want that really cool person to want to be our friend. We want them to think we are funny and brag about how they hung out with us. We want them to want us to be on their team.
This is how I felt today when I met a blogger I follow and have gleaned so much wisdom from. I know, I know, tug of war and blogger sound totally unrelated. And they probably are in most minds--but, as you know, I'm a bit random.
While I wasn't shunned or looked over, the way I felt about myself as I tried to approach Jenni is the same way Hope was feeling tonight about her friends. Teaching a 10 year old how to be secure in her identity in Christ is hard when you, as an adult, still struggle with it many days. Even though I feel like I do grasp it much more than I ever did in the past, it's hard to put it into words that will reach my 10 year old when I'm still fumbling through it myself.
So, I pray. And I will be at field day and make sure I cheer her on as loudly as I can without embarrassing her. And I will tell her how proud I am of her--whether she wins or not. Because I am.