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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Do You Think I'm Weird?

Last night while brushing Belle's hair, she turned and looked at me and asked, "Mama? Do you think I'm weird?" My heart sank. I knew there had to be a reason for such a question. When I asked where it came from, she told me some kids at school have been calling her 'weird'.

After the initial surge of anger and desire to knock out a couple 7 year olds passed, I took her in the kitchen and sat her on the bar so we could be face to face. And I told her... "Baby, if weird means different, then yes. I think you are."

She looked at me like... "HUH?" And I told her I could not be prouder that people see a difference in her... that she doesn't feel the need to act, speak, imitate everyone else. I told her the confidence she has in who she is and her ability to see the good in everyone and every situation could not make me and her daddy more happy. I told her for the rest of her life, people are going to follow after things of the world, and because of that, they will eventually all look the same... and the only time she needs to be worried is if she ever stops standing out as 'different' or even 'weird'.

I told her, "You're not supposed to be the same."

She smiled at me and said, "So when they say I'm weird, I should just say 'thank you?'" I gave her a big hug and told her, "Yes. That is exactly what you should say."

I won't lie. My heart is still a little sick over it. The thought that my precious, beautiful child is already struggling with a situation like this in 2nd grade.... (Well... I don't think 'struggling' is the word. She never really seemed upset, just curious. She is the most optimistic person I've ever met.) But at the same time, I can't put into words how proud I am of that child. She lives every day with her whole heart. She is sincere and real and loving and unconcerned with things I see other little girls already concerned with.

I think about all the mean things I dealt with when I was in school and wish I could shield her from all the yuck in her future. I know I can't do that. But I can keep encouraging her right now to be the little girl God made her to be... the little girl that makes Him proud.

Last night I told her, "Sweetie, other people's opinions don't matter." And she said, "I know, Mama. I just care about what you and Daddy think. Oh, and my teachers. Oh, and for sure God." That's my girl.

Friends, this world is not your home, so don't make yourselves cozy in it. Don't indulge your ego at the expense of your soul. Live an exemplary life among the natives so that your actions will refute their prejudices. Then they'll be won over to God's side and be there to join in the celebration when he arrives. 1 Peter 2:11-12 (The Message)


Sharon said...

You are an amazing mom!!!!! Go Belle! Oh yeah....go Greenwood!! (Friday) :)

Sandi Mitchell said...

Angela, I love this! I love reading your blogs, they really are an inspiration.

Kari Beth said...

wow! so glad belle is not phased by the meanness. and how uplifting you are! my prayer is that elle always wants to be "weird" and stands strong in her convictions.

Bobbie - Clumsy Crafter said...

I love how you handled that! I am going to remember it for when my girls ask me the same question.. which they will... because there will always be bullies

the Pinkerton family said...

YOU are an AMAZING Mom! I also love how you dealt with this - such an inspiration. :)

Aimee Bryan said...

We've always considered ourselves to be WEIRD, especially Jeff. We teach our kids that being unique is exactly what God wanted us to be. You are a wonderful mom and I'm like you, I already ache for those inhuman moments when children and adults hurt our babies. That's why we have to continually show them that strength and faith in the Lord will be our only comfort.

Superchikk said...

Good job! I've always been a "weird one" myself, so I appreciate your heart-to-heart with her, but I'm sad that it had to come at such a young age. Girls are so mean.

Kelsey said...

You're one good Mama! It's crazy to see that these things have already begun in the 2nd grade, makes me sad! Loved the post.

Tyla said...

What a terrific way to handle this situation and I love the verse you added! It's a shame that kids can be so mean.

I have enjoyed your blog so much tonight and will be following. Looking forward to more.

Regina H. said...

Ang, I love how you handled that with Belle. When Lindsey was in about the 5th grade or so we started having problems with a few girls and it still surfaces even now. I tried to explain and handle it the way you did; however, I needed your wording because it was much better. We love reading your blogs. Thanks and God Bless.

Chad & Bettina Crumby said...

I've had a few of those momma bear moments when I wanted to knock some heads.
Kearstin is so sensitive that she cries at the mean things people say to her.
Oh how I wish I could live that pain they will face for them.
So as I face a 8yr old saying she's fat.. or that someone called her unpopular, etc... brings me sadness. Oh how I wish it were different for my kids.