Mean Girls

Emma told me a sad, sad story yesterday.

I had just picked Ana and her up from school, and before they could both get buckled up, Em heaved a great, sad sigh and said, “The worst thing EVER happened today.”

Assuming that she was about to tell me a tale of woe involving her favorite pink shirt, a bottle of chocolate milk, and a spill of catastrophic proportions (because it happens more often than you would think), I asked her to let us have the story.

She huffed out, “Well, there’s a girl in my class who will NOT be my FRIEND!” She went on to tell me how she and this girl were friends up until that day when, for some reason, they decided to not like each other anymore. Emmy continued moaning and groaning about the unfairness of it all, until Ana cut her off with this little gem…

“You know, Emma, not EVERYONE has to be your friend.”

(Don’t be impressed with her amazing maturity, because Ana? Yeah, Ana came home with the very same problem and complaint not two weeks ago.)

As the three of us talked about how people sometimes hurt people (particularly girls, unfortunately) and how we should always try to love others despite how we’re treated, I felt a little sick to my stomach.

Because my girls? Are only five and six. And we’re already talking about these things.

Then I got to thinking about it. And this “mean girls” problem? Was an issue even as early as a couple of years ago…

Actually, even five years ago…

(Okay, so maybe it’s not a “mean girls” problem. Maybe it’s a “mean Ana” problem. But I digress.)

It seems that tiny, little girls are intent on making drama out of nothing and on pushing one another’s buttons on things that really don’t matter. And it’s nothing new. I remember a mean note that got handed to me in eighth grade algebra twenty (ahhhh!) years ago and how it just killed me that other girls could be so mean to me, when I hadn’t even done anything to them. (Not then, at least, though I’m sure I was just as guilty at some points of dishing out as much drama myself.) And it’s nothing that really changes when you’re a grown up, sadly enough. Sure, we’re no longer passing mean notes to one another, but I’ve been around a whole lot of “grown up” ladies who have no problem passive-aggressively pointing out one another’s flaws on a whole range of subjects, all in an effort to make themselves feel better about their own issues.

I’m praising God that even the most hurtful mean girl attacks don’t wound us forever and that maturity lends some perspective to us as we age. But I say that as a thirty-four year old who just frankly doesn’t give a rip what most people think most of the time anyway. I’m at a loss as I watch my girls go through mean girl drama, even at their very, very young age and wonder how to explain it to them in a way they can understand. I’m at an even GREATER loss when I watch them struggle against the innate need they seem to have to be mean girls themselves. (And don’t just take these pictures as proof, friends. Come on over and visit us one afternoon and just take a good long listen to what the Faulk sisters say to one another when they’re mad. Rawr!)

So thankful that, as I tell Ana and Emma again and again, Jesus can change our hearts. Praying that He would continue changing mine, even as He works in Ana and Emma’s lives and makes them into the young ladies He wants them to be…

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