I have no idea what I'm going to do when Norah starts school. Probably fall apart.
On Saturday we went shopping for diapers and the like, and wandered into the toy aisle, so Norah could explore a little. There were two little boys there, and she ran up to them.
"Noonie," she said, patting her chest. She was like a polite little cave person, introducing herself. Me Noonie. You friend.
They ignored her and walked away.
She followed and sort of positioned her self in between them and the toys they were looking at. "Noonie,"she repeated, beaming.
They ignored her again and walked away.
She trotted back to me with a perplexed look on her little face and motioned "up." I picked her up and rubbed her back. "It's okay," I murmured. "They are socially inept little neanderthal jerkfaces."
And that was nothing. Nothing! She would be damn lucky if that's the worst a kid ever did to her. Kids are monsters. They naturally contrive social hierarchies and ruthlessly administer daily reminders of caste position. The playground is Lord of the Flies at best. Even sweet, normally kindhearted children wield plenty of hurt if it means self-preservation.
I vividly remember coming home from school one day and running straight up to my room. There was a bully in my class and he had tormented me the entire day. I threw myself on my bed and wept, my mother not far behind. As I tried to explain to her the situation in between heaving sobs, I could tell she wanted to do something. She was just as upset as I was. She rubbed my back as I cried into my pillow and asked me questions she knew the answer to: no, she couldn't talk to the teacher or the bully or anyone. No, ignoring him didn't work. No, it doesn't help that he probably has low self-esteem and is trying to build himself up.
I can picture her desperate, pained expression even to this day. I bet if she ran into this kid-now-an-adult-and-likely-a-normal-person, she'd probably give him the finger.
And that will be me. And my sweet angel will be the one draped across her bed, soaking her pillow with tears. And I will envision bursting through the wall of the classroom like a deranged Kool-Aid man, kicking over desks until I make my way to the perpetrator. But I'll just listen to her cry, give her the same advice my mom told me, and my heart will break.
So, we've got that to look forward to.