My daughter is a lot more brave than I am

Captured by Bruce Penney Photography

Captured by Bruce Penney Photography

Today I learned that my daughter is much more brave than I.

She’d had a falling out with a friend. Based on having only her side of the story it seemed to me that an unreasonable request had been made of her and that her response had been appropriate. My daughter stands up for what she believes in and is usually pretty calm about it. She doesn’t always take the most popular stand, but often the most just. However, it resulted in two very upset children, with my daughter coming home from school crying that she’d lost her friend.

After a long weekend of stewing about it she came to me and asked if I thought she should talk with her friend. I told her that yes I did. I said that while it sounded like she was right about what she told her friend that it also was important not to let it come between them for too long. I explained that if she let her friend know that she felt her friend’s request was not okay (essentially she’d been asked to choose between two friends) and that she did not want to make a choice … and if her friend still made the same demand then my girly would at least know that she did what she could. I wanted her to know that she was right to stand up for herself and her choices.

My daughter proceeded to pick up the phone and call her friend.

Honestly, I’m quite certain I would not have done so when I was her age, and I don’t know if I even would today. I have come to believe that if someone is hurting me in some way, by their actions or inaction, that it just isn’t worth it to me to fight. I’m better off without them in my life. Now of course that is a very simple statement and there are often a lot more complexities to social problems than that, but essentially that’s my take.

I have no patience for games, no desire to try to read minds, and know unequivocally that I’m actually not very good at either anyway. I’m pretty direct when I communicate with others and appreciate the same in return. So, I feel much better served by simply walking away from situations … in which I have little time, energy or emotion invested.

I have a number of close friends. And I have a lot of acquaintances whose company I enjoy at times. My friends have been there for me through some of my ugliest times. They deserve a little more wiggle room. Maybe they were having a bad day, or maybe we misunderstood one another. That isn’t to say others don’t deserve the same respect – I just don’t go out of my way to try to make it happen after I have been hurt in some way.

In the end my daughter mended things with her friend. They both apologized for their part in the problem, and I believe my daughter’s right to have whatever friends she chooses is being respected … for the time being anyway.

She told me she was shaking when the phone was ringing while she waited for her friend to answer. She didn’t know if her friend was still mad at her. But it was worth it to her to take a chance.

I hope I’ll have the same amount of courage if I feel a situation is worthy enough…



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