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Monday, August 2, 2010

Second chances

I think everyone deserves a second chance. I also believe in the saying "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me!"

My daughter had a falling out with her BFF at the end of 5th grade back in May. This friend really hurt my daughter, and this friends actions also lead other friends to hurt my daughter as well. Once the truth was revealed most of the girls made the decision to stay away from this friend, at least for now. Some of them apologized to my daughter, and some still have not.

My daughter is in complete denial. Now, while I am very proud of her for being able to move past all of this I don't feel like she is giving her a 2nd chance. It's like the 1st chance never even ended. I feel like she is allowing this friend to use her for her own benefit. I sure do hope I am wrong.

I've told my daughter that she has to learn these life lessons just as all of us on this earth do. I'm not going to tell her that she cannot be friends with this girl. I'm not even going to tell her that I don't want her to be friends with her.

What I have told her is that no matter if she chooses to believe that her BFF was the start of all of that drama. Period. Her parents know it. I know it. It's fact. I encourage my children to make decisions based on science, and reason. The fact is that this girl intentionally hurt her, for her own personal gain, and did not give a heartfelt apology for it.

I'm feeling kind of bad about this situation today. My daughter was talking about the gift she would like to buy for this friends birthday with her allowance. I gave her a less than approving, somewhat judgemental glare. When she asked why I was looking at her like that I started to speak and she said "Oh." and left the room. I walked into her room and said "Sis, I know you love your friend dearly. I respect that. I have the right to form my own opinions and I choose to not trust your friend now like I used to. That is my right. I'm sorry that you don't like that but I've been on this earth 3 times as long as you have and believe me, I have been burnt 3 times as much.

I left it at "You can talk to me anytime about anything, and I hope you will come to me if you have any concerns with this friendship down the road.

With school starting back up I am nervous that this drama will stir back up, and I really do not have the time or the patience for that again.

...and suddenly I am reminded of the friend I recently hurt, whom has still not contacted me. Do I deserve another chance? I'm not so sure I do right now, and I'm not even really all that sure how I can right that wrong. Only time will tell, I suppose.

Have a great week!


  1. Oh, that's so tough. I hope that your daughter doesn't get hurt again.

  2. Girl relationships are so hard. I've had Queen Bees and Wannabees sitting on my shelf for too long. Maybe I'll read it soon.

  3. It was a good read, Amy...but it isn't really helping me right now. I think this is just natural stuff that most girls have to endure. :(

  4. Forgive and learn, that's my MO.

    I aim to forgive an infinite number of times. Because i've been forgiven an infinite number of times.

    But I also allow myself to learn about a person, for better or worse. Doesn't mean that I type-cast a person permanently a certain way. Just means that I'm not surprised if they repeat a certain kind of behavior. And it means I learn who I can be more open to, and around whom I need to be more guarded. Who I can count on, and others who I do things for in a "paying it forward" kind of way, KWIM?

    I would never advocate forgiving in the sense of allowing someone to abuse another repeatedly. But I always advocate being open to forgiving in the sense of freeing one's self from feelings of hostility and anger.

    It's hard to be the mom in a case like this w/ your dd. Our instinct is to protect. But you're doing great in letting her make and be responsible for her own choices wrt this friendship. And it's good that she isn't hurting herself by harboring feelings of bitterness or revenge. You'll be her soft place to land, no matter what happens. :)

  5. That's tough, Lety. And you make a good connection to your own situation. How often do we deserve our own 2nd chances?

    I also think to my own post recently about "Your Amazing Life." I often remind myself that I don't know someone else's story. I don't know what drives them to be the way they are. Even if someone leaves me angry and hurt and used up... there is a reason why they live the way they do. It doesn't excuse it for me. It doesn't mean I'll keep taking it. But it does mean that I might have some connection, some feeling to them, to their choices.

    And it's easy for me to say as the parent of small kids who haven't faced this yet... but we do have to let them make their own mistakes.

    I also know that you aim to teach your daughter to be compassionate and kind and to use that big heart of hers. And maybe... even if there is continued hurt... maybe there is a lesson for us grown ups to learn from your daughter. Maybe she sees something in this girl that we can't see. I think the messages you give her are good- and I also think that sometimes life has to teach us lessons.

    And I'd try to focus on the positive. Encourage the friendships with the girls who did apologize instead of attempting to discourage a friendship with 1 particular girl.