Be Good to Your Daughters

October 2, 2007 at 8:15 pm 12 comments

She is nine and one half.  Bright eyed, sleek haired and smack in the middle of a growing spurt that’s left her more long than wide.  For the fourth time in as many years, she’s the new girl in school.

This doesn’t bother her because she’s smart and pretty.  At school she knows what’s expected and how to reach and exceed those expectations.  At school, even just six weeks into a new year, she’s the funny girl who already knows long division and can beat all the boys at kickball.  She is the shining girl that glows as if she’d swallowed a star. 

The steps to her school must be the division between an enchanted land and the world she actually lives in.  It’s possible to watch the change in her as she descends to the bus.  By the time she’s settled into her far back seat, she’s biting her nails.   Head bowed, shoulders so slumped the narrow blades poke through her t-shirt like they’re trying to escape the gloom that is settling over this pretty girl.  Worry rolls off her like fog because she never knows what she’ll find at the end of her bus trip.

Might be cookies and milk with a new movie to watch once homework is done.  Might be a baby sister in a sodden diaper screaming from her crib. A mother wired and ranting, new bruises blooming on her cheek or neck. 

There have been more cookies and milk days than the other kind in the last few weeks, but it takes more than “weeks” to believe in change. 

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12 Comments Add your own

  • 1. QuillDancer  |  October 2, 2007 at 9:25 pm

    Hopefully she will get the months and the years she needs. My prayers are with you, her, the baby and your daughter.

    Reply
    • 2. high school  |  January 6, 2010 at 1:59 am

      i wall to paint is you ice dancers your Ella is a like to a been it on friday of a lexandra daughter is friends of a Ella thanks you

      Reply
  • 3. hammer  |  October 3, 2007 at 12:09 am

    I see the same with my kids. Learning to deal with that environment is extremely stressful.

    Reply
  • 4. Shelli  |  October 3, 2007 at 12:58 am

    I don’t know who you are speaking of, but I recognize that girl.

    Reply
  • 5. lauraj  |  October 3, 2007 at 2:22 am

    I want to cry for that little girl! I remember riding that bus and the dread of coming home. Oh it makes me so sad that a little girl as sweet, bright eyed and so full of promise has it so hard. I’ll pray for her that she overcomes these obstacles and becomes a wonderful woman.

    Reply
  • 6. katherine.  |  October 3, 2007 at 3:18 am

    I hope the milk and cookie days last for her. Nine is young to learn these lessons. I am glad she has gifts to excel when she is away from home. sigh.

    Reply
  • 7. dew  |  October 3, 2007 at 3:57 am

    What do you bet she decides to become a teacher? School is her safe place, so it makes sense she’d want to spend the rest of her life there. I didn’t realize it until I’d been teaching for years, but that was my underlying motivation to become a teacher. Because I was that little girl.

    Reply
  • 8. Hayden  |  October 3, 2007 at 7:48 am

    ugghhh. eyes welling with tears. so young to learn the intricacies of internalized math – the multiplication in one environment, the division and subdivision in another: always trying to find the prime that does not divide, but holds firm.

    Reply
  • 9. Absolute Vanilla... (& Atyllah)  |  October 3, 2007 at 4:33 pm

    Oh the cruelties inflicted on children and the courage with which they try to face the world. It breaks my heart, breaks the heart of my inner child. Let there be milk and cookies for all the children of the world – may those milk and cookie days last forever. May there be milk and cookies for us as adults too.

    Reply
  • 10. Delmonti (Dave)  |  October 3, 2007 at 6:44 pm

    there comes a time when you have to say “stop”….. someone here needs a hand.

    Reply
  • 11. stacy  |  October 3, 2007 at 9:13 pm

    My daughter’s two friends act the same way and it doesn’t have to be school. They light up any time they leave their house. They light up under any attention….even if it isn’t the good kind, because it is more than they get at home.

    I’m praying for milk and cookies days for all of them, Kat, for all the kids who are afraid of what they’ll find at home.

    Reply
  • 12. John Linna  |  October 4, 2007 at 2:01 am

    The milk and cookie days have arriveed. This time they might hold on.

    Reply

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