I watch her walk on to the school grounds with her head held high knowing that the evening before she awoke with tears. Into my bed she goes. I didn't have the energy to put her back in her room. I think she needed to be close to us.
"Be Brave" I say as she gets out of the car. She smiles and says "I will."
I find myself saying this to Nyna as she navigates through school life and understanding the meaning of friendships. I don't remember friendships being this hard when I was young. Maybe during my teen years but at ten...life just seemed so much easier. My girl is resilient, this I know, but this mama's heart still hurts to hear her stories, often accompanied with tears.
Evening discussions about treating people with respect and looking for the good in others is a huge topic in our home. We talk about exclusion, which is something that Nyna is experiencing at the moment with friends; one of whom she seems to like very much. We also discuss what is her contribution to the situation. Being able to look at yourself before you look at others is just as important. I am thankful that there are other girls in her grade that have embraced her into their circle of play.
I believe having an older sister with special needs and watching her go through life makes Nyna especially aware of treating others well. That, along with our parenting advice hopefully assists her in making good choices on who to surround herself with.