My husband recently began a new bedtime routine with our 5-year-old daughter that she now calls “chit-chat time”. It’s a time after the bath is done, teeth are brushed and books are read where soul-searching questions are posed. What is one thing that made you sad today? What makes you happy? Who is your hero? You get the gist. As with most things these days, this is an idea that he found on the glorious world-wide interweb and ultimately pinned to one of his Pinterest boards. It’s a bit maddening how much better he is at effectively using Pinterest and at this parenting thing. I bet he’s thinking long-term. Whereas I will be stuck in a home in my old age, he will enjoy the love and care from our children and millions of followers on Pinterest.
After one particular chit-chat session, our daughter confessed that she had been saddened by the boy who lives two door down. This boy told her that he didn’t like her, he only liked her Legos. My husband handled it like a champ; he let her discuss her feelings; and he didn’t try to fix the problem by banning this boy’s presence from our house or slashing his bike tires. He also suggested to our daughter that she discuss the issue with me because as he put it, she could benefit from her mother’s advice.
But what if my advice is to tell her she should tell that boy to Suck It? Which coincidentally is sometimes my general response to most issues. You don’t like me – suck it. You think I’m terrible at soccer – suck it. You don’t like my parenting – suck it. Somewhere along the way my mantra of I wish you well now goes hand in hand with suck it. It’s a fine line, people. You just can’t be nice to everyone all the time. Given that it’s probably best to give some additional explanation to our daughter rather than just a two-word phrase here is my best motherly advice.
I’m so sorry to hear that your friend said he likes you only for your Legos. I can see how that would hurt your feelings. It is no fun to feel sad especially when it comes to friends we like. I want you to know that he is of course missing out on your many other wonderful qualities – your love of music and Michael Jackson dance moves, hilarious personality, crafty ways, amazing 5-year-old math skills, adult charming abilities, beautiful smile, undeniable fashion sense and general soccer prowess. Sadly though, throughout life you will encounter many people. Some people will be great friends, some will be good friends and some not good friends at all. There may be times that people will make you sad, and it’s ok to be sad. But remember that you are a wonderful girl and that you can always talk to us.
Of all these people who you will know throughout life – there will be those who will love you just as you are, those who love you for those awesome character traits you offer and lastly those that will love you only for your stuff, like your Legos.
For the ones that love you just as you are, spend time with them. Do life together – travel, dance, read, talk, encourage each other, work through problems, show them the good and the bad. You will share the ups and the downs. Treasure these people. They don’t happen often and do your best to love them back just as they are. This unconditional love business can sometimes be hard work, just ask your father.
For the ones that recognize the many traits and talents that you offer, be thankful that others see what we see and what we hope you will see one day too. But not so thankful that you give them the credit. They didn’t make you this way, I did. Kidding. It was actually God and the people, places, and events he has placed in your life. Your father and I are just lucky to have been able to be a part of this crazy, sometimes maddening, but mostly beautiful life. Be careful that this recognition fogs your judgement. Sometimes it can be so exciting when people recognize you and see how incredibly awesome you are. Sometimes it’s so exciting that it can lead to bad choices or bad friendships. You are amazing and don’t forget it. Use it to make a positive difference in the world.
For those that like you for your stuff, hope and pray that they grow out of it because their world will always be lacking. The love of stuff is no way to live. Don’t forget that because we all at some point fall a little too in love with stuff. It’s no way to live. Try your best to play without it and see what happens. Enjoy the outdoors, it’s the best thing you can do for your brain and body. If despite your best efforts, these friends continue to look for the stuff, cut them loose. The same advice goes for you, if you find yourself attached to your stuff, cut it loose. The friendships and the happiness you had will quickly disappear when the stuff is gone or broken. You deserve better. If all else fails and these “friends” continue to hang on, tell them to suck it. In most cases, this message will come across loud and clear.
Remember sweetheart, we were all created with a greater purpose. Don’t let stuff get in the way of this.
Your mother who loves you and thankfully married the most amazing man.