There are some questions that are really tough for a mum to answer. Like when your nine yr old daughter comes to you and asks,
“Mum, did you ever like a boy who didnt like you back?”
Oh did I ever…I gazed into her troubled eyes and struggled to find the right words. For this daughter who always looks for the best in people. Who would tell me ‘I love you more than all the dinosaurs in the world.’ ( Im guessing she meant before extinction wiped them out.) What should I say? Do I tell her?
About the boy in Yr 6 who I thought was so funny, so tough and so cool. Until he scared the heck out of me by bringing a six inch Rambo knife to school and waving it at me behind a raised desklid mouthing “Just you wait. After school Im going to cut all your ponytails off!” Because he thought I was the tattletale who told the teacher he was bringing illicit weapons to school. My heart was broken. Not to mention i was traumatized with fear. (I still havent forgiven you Mr Kruse!)
Or what about the boy who was tall, dark and handsome all through Yrs 7 and 8. Who liked to tease me unmercifully. Chanting “Owl face, owl face, mata lulu, mata lulu” every time i walked by. Clearly there was never a hope in hell HE was going to change his mind and like me back.
And of course there was the infamous A. The boy I adored with every fiber of my 12 yr old being. For three years running. The one whose name i doodled on notebooks. The one whose house i would call after school – and then hang up when i heard his voice. The one I wrote terrible poems about in my journal. The one who actually asked me to go to the Junior Social with him. And i was breathless with hopeful delight. Until he spent the entire event ignoring me. And dancing with wickedly gorgeous K instead.
Yes, I’ve been there. That painful state of liking and being un-liked in return. (Big sigh.) I admit I am grateful that the apple of my 9yr old’s eye is blind to her fluttery hopes because I just couldnt handle it if one of my daughters had a boyfriend just yet. Still struggling with my son having a girlfriend… But I soooo want to smash this boy who dares to NOT like my daughter. Just rough him up a teensie weensie bit. Maybe hide in the bushes and throw squishy bananas at him as he walks by.
Its been a long time since i was at primary school and moping in Little Daughter’s shoes. And since then, I’ve discovered that life can be a loooong journey littered with similar rejections. Because there are always going to be people who dont like us. Who sneer at our (dismal) sense of style. Who hate our writing. Who think we’re not funny. Who insist on rearranging our furniture every time they come over to visit ( Yes Mum, I’m talking about YOU!) And we have to realize that’s Totally okay. Life will still go on. You will still have meaning and worth in the universe. There will still be tons of other people who love you. Who are more than willing to hide in the bushes and throw rotten fruit at that horrible boy who doesnt like you back.
Yes, I tell Little Daughter, rejection hurts. But its not fatal. And in the meantime?
I love you more than all the dinosaurs in the world. And fingers crossed a really vicious T-Rex comes back to life real soon, gobbles up that idiotic boy – and then spits out the pieces. Why? Because HE doesnt like him either.