I had a friend in Nashville who described her high school years as hell – so bad for both she and her Mom that each afternoon they went shopping for a new outfit for her to wear just so she could face the new school day. She was beautiful, smart and charming and I just couldn't fathom how someone like her could have struggled so with her peers.
While my middle school and high school years weren't always smooth sailing; I don't recall them as one of the hardest seasons of my life. During that time, I forged a few lasting relationships with people whose friendship I value above all others. Those days were not perfect and had their share of ups and downs – which are inherent while kids are learning to navigate their way through life.
Those ups and downs don't hold a candle to what my girls endure today – and I'm totally feeling my friend's mom's pain and could jump on that shopping band wagon to soothe myself and possibly gloss over some of the hurts Syd and Rea get handed each and every day. My girls are not always innocent parties in the daily kerfuffle's that go down – but during my school days, I always knew who had my back, and who didn't, loyal friends that I could trust in the trenches of war; no matter what.
But, things don't seem to work that way now; expectations for loyalty only seem to apply to dogs.
I never expected my girls to always be on the outside looking in – excluded for being who they are; not accepted for being unique, beautiful, funny and different in her own way.