I remember what it was like to be in middle school. Some days I wish I didn’t.
I was the fat kid. The nerd. The boy who mainly hung out with girls and, therefore, must be gay. I grew up in private schools which, one would think, would make for a better experience. I’m sure in many ways it did, but it also made my class size super small so the number of outcasts were pretty much me and one other kid that was so weird even I didn’t want to befriend him. The result … I hated school. I hated life. I learned that friendship is conditional … baggage that I still carry to this day despite having amazing friends.
My daughter’s experience couldn’t be more different. Sure, she’s had some run-ins with “friends” who tease or create drama, but for the most part she is surrounded (or has surrounded herself) with a group of good kids. She’s not the “popular” (read: mean) girl nor is she the “geek”, but she’s a friend to both. She loves with her whole heart and is all-inclusive with that love. I am so proud of who she is and have no idea how we managed to create such a heart as hers.
This weekend we celebrated her 11th birthday with 2 separate gatherings for different groups of friends. The first, a skating rink “hang”, was more of an adult/family party and the second, a karaoke/rockstar party, was for a handful of school friends. Both told the story of a girl who is loved and is loving life.
It is so important to celebrate life and even more important to share it with others. Who can you connect with today that will bring a smile to your heart? Connect!