Mean Encounters

Me Too has had her first run-in with the resident Mean Girl. I guess it’s good all of her brother’s experiences have steeled my heart or I’d be out there with my sword bared, swashbuckling with abandon.

She’s been talking about this girl a lot recently, how she had a short temper and a sharp tongue. Perhaps I should have realized something was up, because it isn’t like Me Too to focus on one person so negatively for so long.

She’s also been a little moody, a little unwilling to get up or get ready. This morning she has a pretty classic tantrum. But she can’t tantrum hard enough to phase me, after having survived her brother’s tantruming par excellence.

It all came out this afternoon, how this one little girl got mad at Me Too when she didn’t do as she was told, and said, “Everyone who hates Me Too raise their hand!”

(Sigh.)

It sounds small.

In the grand scheme of things, it is small. But I know what that feels like. I could tell from the big, heavy, spherical tears spilling over the rim of her lashes that it had hurt.

What can you say? The truth? There are horrid girls, and they grow up to be horrid women who pass judgment on other women and make us miserable. They never go away; there will be few periods in your life when you are free from such people.

That truth seems to harsh for my first grader.

So I just hugged her and let her tears spill on my shoulder, hardened by experience, toughened by necessity. One day, Me Too will be just as hard and tough, if not more. And that this transformation is a necessity is one of the saddest things about growing up.

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