Let It All Out

I went off to pick the little travellers up from school yesterday with a spring in my step. The world was a beautiful place. I’d exercised in the morning, and then spoke to a parenting mag about some freelance work. I’d got some work done, and written a blog post about just how lovely the world can be. And then you guys started to say hi from all over the world. The world was full of warmth, positivity, and love. My world. At that moment.

Something was up with the second little traveller. When we met at the school gates she seemed relieved rather than excited to see me. She was skittish in the car, her eyes darted from conversation to conversation, and she looked, different.

“You said we could listen to Scream and Shout by Will.i.am on the way home from school” there was an edginess to the request.  I watched her sing the chorus without the usual smiles.

“I wanna scream and shout and let it all out, and scream and shout, and let it out”.

We went to the park and while I chatted to friends, I watched her playing. None of the usual big belly laughs, something was going on. And then when we got home, she accidentally let the dog out. While everyone else squealed and ran to get the leash, she burst into tears and fell in a heap.

“I ate my lunch in the toilet, because they all ran away from me”.

The world was not a beautiful place.

“She keeps whispering and I ask them what she’s saying and they won’t tell me. And then this morning at snack she told me I could sit at the table but I had to face in a different direction.”

Granny Max (my mother) gave me sage advice years ago, that when it comes to little girls, don’t get caught in the details of who, because it’s highly likely that this week’s perpetrator could well become next week’s requested sleepover. Don’t take it personally.

That being said, I wanted to get in the car and track that little girl down and then, well, I guess I wouldn’t have really run her over and then reversed back to make sure I’d got the job right, but in that split second, I thought about it.

My eyes were stinging as she sobbed through the explanation of what was happening in “the group”.

“Why are they doing it Mum?” there was hope in those big brown eyes, that I’d be able to explain it, that I’d give her the answer that would make it all make sense.

I headed down a familiar parental path. When people do these things it’s usually because they have their own problems, problems that have nothing to do with you. I shared my own war stories, confessed that I had also been one of those girls. I told her that this would make her stronger, that she would grow from it, learn from it. And then I told her the truth.

That this would happen again. Maybe not in the same form, but it was going to happen again.

Sometimes the people that we like, are the ones that can hurt us the most.

But sometimes, people that we haven’t even met, can show us that it’s going to be okay.

This morning we read through the comments from yesterday’s post. It was the opposite to eating your lunch in the bathroom, it was eating your lunch at your desk while hundreds of women stopped by and told you you were doing okay, to keep going.

Thank you for providing the proof that some days can be really tough, but mostly the world is a really nice place.

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  1. Good advise, Granny Max. I wonder if it applies to boys, as well? I guess it does? I’m hoping it doesn’t though because when things like this happen I just want to drive over to school and demand that something is done about it. So hard to know where that line is between the need for support without taking action, and supporting through taking action.

  2. Bless her! These are the hardest years but you handled it just right. Even admitting we’ve all been that girl before. This is not a new path but you are giving her the encouragement and strength to walk it successfully herself.

    (That said, when one of my daughters came home to report that another girl was being subtly bullied, as only girls can, I did have a quiet talk with the middle school counselor. Just to make sure someone was keeping an eye on the perpetrator.)

  3. I feel for the second little traveller and for you. 14 years ago I listened to my son explain how his best friend, Sam (there, I’ve said his name all these years later)wanted my son to pretend they didn’t know each other at school. I was so angry with that boy, but I was angrier with his parents.

  4. Oh, poor honey. I hope things are on the up again for the second little traveller at school very soon x

  5. This posting touched my heart in a very personal way. Yesterday I spent 2 hours with the middle school counselor after hearing the my 12 year old is being bullied by a special needs pupil. She had absolutely no idea how to handle this situation and was devastated. My little girl that has always loved school was pretending to be sick to not go to school – should have been a red light flashing!! Good luck to your little traveller. This too, shall pass.

  6. Send big thanks to granny max and also to yourself. I was dreading that conversation because this happens to us all but now I have the words to make the conversation happen and it’s just a right of passage

  7. Doesn’t it make you feel so sick inside…..the last school my daughter went to made a point all year of pushing the message about the power of words to wound and scar.they taught the kids how to empower themselves against hurtful messages.

  8. Hi, I meant to introduce myself yesterday but things got away from me and so I will do it today.
    I am Jamie from Calgary. I started reading your blog about a year ago when my cousin Kim sent me a link.
    I too am the mother of 4, all in their 20’s now, and love reading your blogs as so many of the topics are familiar to me. I loved the blog about the youngest child. My youngest is the only boy and many times as my daughters helped him out I have heard ” when I was your age I was changing YOUR diapers and you can’t even pour your own milk!”. There are 6 years between oldest and youngest.
    I often forward you blogs to my children to say “see I am not the only mother who does that!”.
    Thanks for all the smiles and stories.

  9. Second Little Traveller, so many people around the world know who you are and would love to eat lunch with you and hear your tales of the beautiful world. You’re doing more than OK. Keep going.

  10. Caz, you took the words right out of my mouth!
    Second little Traveller – those silly girls don’t know who they are missing out on! Their loss, honey. BIG TIME loss.
    Love Granny Max advice too. It’s so true, even as we grow older. What is it with women??????????????

    Every child should feel as safe and loved as yours do, to confide in you and tell you what’s going on in their lives.

    She’s a lucky little traveller 🙂


  11. I was that girl, like your daughter eating my lunch in the toilet. One day my friends were the best girls ever, the next the most horrible little witches. There is nothing really you can do because girls are just like that. Just keep doing what your doing. With your support your girl will turn into a beautiful, strong and independent woman. These days I pray for the days when I can eat lunch alone in peace! I wish I could tell my 9 year old self it gets better!

  12. “If our hearts are never broken, then there’s no joy in the mending” – Gary Lightbody

  13. girls can be extremely bitchy and cruel! *hugs* for your second traveller. Chin up!

    I read a post before (i think it was ) about your first traveller encountering girls being mean. Maybe she can reassure her little sis that she will come out shining on the other side. And things do get better.

    love granny max’s advise!

  14. btw…I too would feel the urge to go “sort those girls out”!!!!

  15. Here comes one more virtual hug from Finland! Minus 20 degrees celcius outside but sending warm thoughts to your darling little one. Our lives couldn’t be more different, but I love reading about yours.

  16. Granny may be wise in the abstract but when she hears of the 2nd beautiful girl being picked on she would gladly sort them out.

  17. My Mr 9 is being bullied by a girl in his class – he doesn’t know how to handle it. The teacher said ‘she’s just a ‘Mean Girl’ we all had to learn to live with them’. Girls have always been his shelter and support – this is such a tough lesson for him to learn. I would gladly wring her neck regularly – instead I will take a deep breath and stay the course. Reading your calm and wise words – very helpful. Hope the 2nd traveller perks up again really soon.

  18. Please give her big kiss from me xx

  19. Oh how we wish we could do it for them on these days. Learning to take knocks is so hard – for both of you!

  20. It hurts when it happens to you but it hurts so much more when it happens to your child. Sounds like you handled it well. (I’m glad you didn’t run the little girl over!)

  21. Oh the darling girl. Both of you. Olivia (nearly 9) just read this too, over my shoulder. And told me that Granny Max is a clever lady and that the Second Little Traveller should just come to our school. xxx

  22. It is astonishing how awful girls can be to each other. I went to an all girls boarding school and it was terrible. I actually wrote about it a while back. http://www.21stcenturymummy.com/2010/02/12/does-boarding-school-scar-children-for-life/

    • I remember, I commented on it when you linked to it previously on another post of mine. Very pleased to report that the counsellor did a fabulous job at talking with all of the girls and our 2nd little traveler has been a star with it all. Thanks for commenting once again. xx

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