I was walking today with a friend of mine that I met a couple of years ago. Our girls were in the same class and they had hit it off, we had hit it off, all was happy and new. We would see each other off and on as would our kids.
The following school year, our girls were in different classes. They had lunch and recess time together, still, but there definitely had been a shift. I didn't hear her name often. There were no requests to play with her. The mom and I didn't see each other anymore, either. When we bumped into each other, all was fine, but we didn't connect outside of that as before.
I asked my daughter if she and her friend had a falling out. She said not really. They just played different games. I asked if they could still find some games to play together, maybe, and I got the shrug off.
But I wanted to ask her more. I wanted to know if she had disrupted the friendship. I asked her, "Have you done anything to upset your friend?" She said she had not.
I wasn't convinced.
Was it my business?
Should I push this any further?
Is there a reason why I am getting involved in her friendships?
There are articles circulating right now about raising polite children, kind girls, kids who won't be a bully or a brat. I do my best to make sure my kids are well schooled on what it means to be a friend and a kind person in their world.
I wanted to begin a refresher course with her on friendship to be sure she remembered what it took to be a thoughtful person. I also wanted to stay out of it because who was ever involved in the picking and choosing of my friends when I was a child?
I realized I wondered if the lack of time I spent with my new friend was related to the lack of time our girls had with each other and I got a little panicky. What if my child had been mean and now I lost a friend?
Did I call or email? I did not. I didn't know how to approach it. I had such little time with my long standing friends, too. My socialization is at a minimum for me. I just let it all slip away.
A new school year has since begun.
Today, the mom quite easily said to me that it seemed our girls were getting along again.
"YES!" I blurted out. "I noticed that, too." I was counting steps along side of her, lost on how to ask the question,
"Was it my kid being the punk?"
What was I to do if she said yes? Would she say yes? Would she say no? Would she know either way?
Then I wondered, why do I assume my child to be the one who ended it? Why did I assume it is anyone's fault? Haven't I dropped off from being with those I used to be friendly with? Isn't that really a part of the ins and outs of years passing us by? Why did this take up so much of my thinking?
I'm still working it all out. I made sure to say that I hope my child hadn't done anything to upset hers and she said she didn't think so. I have to take that as the answer and let everything be. We even spoke of a possible get together for the girls soon. My plan is for that to include some time for us.
I find that my children are extensions of myself. My mom used to say to us as we left the house, "Your behavior is a reflection on my raising you...!" with her leaving out the inferred "Don't make me look bad." I can't help but feel the same. However, there comes a time when our children's behavior is all their own and, hopefully, with all the lessons, examples, talks, and guidance, their behavior will be a practice in kindness.