My heart is broken.
I feel as though I'm grieving even though it's impossible to accurately articulate the range of emotions that I've felt in the past few days. I haven't cried this hard or this much since my dad passed away. I have resisted social media and texts because I don't know how to say what is in my heart without causing pain in my relationships but I also can't continue to feel all of this and not express it somehow.
I grew up as a kid on the fringes. I lived near the "cool kids" and when we were little we all played together. As we got older and started to break into different groups they still would play with me on the weekends and during the summer but when we stepped off the school bus each day I found myself alone. I was never pretty enough, athletic enough, or smart enough to fit in so I spent my adolescence on the fringes. I knew all of the "cool kids" and they knew me but that was the extent of it. I wasn't invited to their parties or included in their groups. Looking back at my high school years, I had exactly two real friends. I attended one of the largest high schools in the state but I had two friends... and one didn't even go to my school. It was painful and it took its toll - depression, rebellion, isolation...
Addison has grown up with a small group of friends - daughters of my friends and co-workers. She has gone through preschool, kindergarten, sports, birthdays with these girls and she adores them. Addison doesn't make friends easily - she's wild and unpredictable, passionate and emotional - and those things tend to frustrate kids her age.
This fall, I started to see things falling apart. She was placed in a different class than the other girls, which was what I thought I wanted. I thought she would make new friends so that she wouldn't be so reliant on the other girls to play with her.
Then she wasn't invited to the birthday of one of the girls. I tried to not let it bother me and I came up with all sorts of reasons in my head why it was okay that she didn't get to go. But it lingered.
Then she heard through the grapevine of 1st graders that one of the girls thought she was 'embarrassing' and 'cooky'. It broke her heart which in turn broke mine.
Then, this weekend, she was not invited to another birthday party. All the other little girls were there.
She doesn't know yet - I didn't have the heart to tell her - but she will find out.
We are 100 days into 1st grade.
She hasn't been invited to a birthday party.
She hasn't been invited to a sleepover.
She hasn't been invited to a play date, a movie... anything.
When asked who she plays with the most at recess, she replies, "Myself."
I am a mother of a little girl on the fringe.
When that realization hit me yesterday, it broke me. I went to work in my classroom and I bawled like a baby for hours. Then I got home and tried to explain how I was feeling to Derek... which led to me bawling again.
I don't know how to parent her through this. Some of my dearest friends are the moms of these girls. I love these other girls and I love their moms. But I'm ashamed to admit that I'm resentful and hurt. I know that they aren't deliberately excluding her and that they aren't trying to be cruel but it doesn't change the fact that it hurts her and that it hurts me.