I lie to my kids. Not all the time. But sometimes. When I need to. Because sometimes the truth is just too much to understand when you're seven years old. Sometimes the truth is just as hard to understand when you're thirty-seven years old.
I cried for my extremely sensitive seven year old tonight. I lied to my daughter so I didn't have to explain to her that girls can be catty. And sometimes, mean girls just suck.
Today, the little girl who Riley was paired up with to show her around the school, introduce her to the kids, to be her support buddy, told her at lunchtime that she should start making her own friends and play with them instead.
She was crushed.
I don't want to be that mom. The helicopter mom, who hovers over her child and tries to fix every little hurt feeling and problem. But it's hard when your daughter is crying and telling you that she really likes that little girl and doesn't understand why she doesn't like her back.
The reality is, we inflicted this transition on her. Again. We made her the new kid. Again. For the third time in three years.
The State Department does its best to ease families through the transition of moving to each overseas posting by providing the same ugly-as-sin Drexel furniture. They have sponsors. They have hail and farewell parties, coffees, and BBQs to meet the families at the new post.
Now that we're Stateside? Living outside of the DC area? We are on. our. own. Without any help to set up our home (that we have to find). Without support from a Community Liaison Officer. And right now, without Matt.
I cried for Riley today because I know how hard it is to be the new kid in town. To be the new mom in the neighborhood. Like her, I've done it three times in the past three years too. And it sucks. It's hard. Though I always try to put on a happy face and be as cheery as I can when meeting new people, I too get lonely. I wish I had a few good friends to play with regularly as well. I wish I was invited out for coffees. And over for Tupperware parties. And off to shop at Fashion Island. My loneliness is compounded because I don't have Matt here at night. He's not around to help heal the children's wounds. Or mine.
I really wanted to tell Riley, "Screw that little girl. You're too good for her anyway." Instead, I channeled my inner Lady Gaga and talked through what her buddy said to her and all the different possibilities of what she said could have meant. I gave her ideas of what she could say to her tomorrow (none of which include any four letter words, thankyouverymuch). And we talked about what to do if her buddy really meant what she said.
In the end I reminded her that it takes time to make friends, what a cool chickadee she is, and anyone who wants to be friends with her, will be. For just like me, her loyalty to her friends is fierce. Once she makes them, she holds onto them. Forever.
In the meantime I need to take my own advice. And pray that things happen sooner than later. For both of us. Because I need a new game. I suck at poker.