How many times have I said, “If I only knew then what I know now … ”
Jessie and I had a long talk yesterday afternoon about some of the kids in her class. She’s like any kid and gets the normal bit of teasing from the class clown who likes to poke at anyone and everyone within yelling distance, and outside of the bullying incidents, they’ve been nothing big. However, apparently one of her classmates lately has been picking on her because she spends her time divided between two families: her mother’s and her father’s. She told me that she tried explaining to this kid that she can’t help that she has to live this way, and told me, “She just doesn’t understand what it’s like for me. I’m different because of this, and nobody likes you when you’re different.”
Oh boy, how I can relate!
Luckily my folks divorced when I was very young, so I don’t remember my biological father at all and never had to deal with having to shuffle back and forth between homes. Unfortunately, Jessie doesn’t have that luxury. And while I have no doubt in my mind that she loves us all very dearly, I think she wishes sometimes for a “normal” family setting — e.g., one family, one home.
Of all the things I can help her handle — math homework, studying for tests, learning her way around the kitchen — this is one of those things where I feel powerless to help. I’ve always tried to show Jessie how much I sympathize with her by sharing my own experiences, and I hope that she understands that she’s not alone. It tears me up to think that for even one moment she may feel as worthless as I once did. I can’t feel the pain for her. All I can do is advise her as best I know how, offer lots of hugs and support, encourage her to share her experiences with me and her mother and father, and hope that she’ll see that one day that she CAN get past this and move on to better things.
And maybe, just maybe, those who have done wrong to her will look back and realize the harm that causes.
I’ve spent a little time the past few days catching up on my feeds, and PostSecret had an entry that really hit home when I was reading over it just now …
I think I’ll print that out and save for Jessie to see when she gets back to our house tomorrow.