Most of us have had parted ways with a best friend at some point in our life. We all know that it can really be devastating. In my last blog post I told the story of my 11-year-old daughter losing her best friend. It was done so quickly that she was left feeling like she did something wrong — and as if something was wrong with her. As I tried to help her make sense of the whole situation, we were still left feeling puzzled and confused.
So the expression “You look like you just lost your best friend” really hits home in my house these days. My daughter used to be such a confident girl. Watching her lose her two best friends over an argument has been really tough, but it’s definitely much more difficult for her. She is gifted academically, is energetic and has a love for life, but she is also very naïve and sensitive. I know that she will find a friend to trust again, but I can tell that she isn’t so sure. And while my daughter knows that I love her unconditionally and that I’m there for her whenever she needs me, let’s face it; there is definitely a need for a friend who is a peer — a confidant to go through this crazy journey of growing up.
So, the other night I got out the Dr. Seuss book, “Oh, the Places You’ll Go”. That is such an awesome book! I read it out loud to the whole family and then we went around the room and told what the book meant to us. My 3rd grader said it was about a trip, which is very true. My daughter said that was what she used to think, but now she was pulling out some deeper meanings. She said she felt “stuck” or “ in a slump” and I had noticed she hid her face when I read:
“You can get all hung up
in a prickle-ly perch.
And your gang will fly on.
You’ll be left in a Lurch.
You’ll come down from the Lurch
with an unpleasant bump.
And the chances are, then,
that you’ll be in a Slump.”
My point of this activity was to show her that life has its ups and downs. Even though things seemed glum right now, they would get better and she would be wiser.
Now that some time has passed, she has quite a few new acquaintances at school. She has rekindled some friendships from earlier grades as well. The two girls who dumped my daughter still do not speak to her. I advise my daughter to hold her head high and not be afraid. My daughter has expressed that she is “just ready for 5th grade to be over.” I don’t want her to play the “waiting game,” as in the Dr. Seuss book. She needs to be present in the moment. All of the moments won’t be great, but I don’t want her to start down that road of wishing her life away.
I will end on the latest anonymous quote that I have told her that she really likes: “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning how to dance in the rain.”