A few weeks ago, Grace missed out on our annual St. Patty’s day parade tradition due to poor performance in school. She was devastated, at first, but realized the seriousness of her education when we didn’t back down. It was hard. It broke my heart to leave her behind. But, I stuck to my guns and did it. And I began to understand the truth behind, “This hurts me more than it hurts you.”
Although she had been going to my sister’s after school to do her homework for a few weeks prior, I still got the impression that she didn’t really care. Her homework was finally being turned in on a daily basis, but her attitude was one of disdain and annoyance at the whole situation.
Last week the kids were on Spring Break…a much needed break for Grace. The third quarter ended on that last Friday, and she was relieved to put it behind her. She brought home several Math pages that her teacher was allowing her to do over break for extra credit and reluctantly did the assignments.
When returning to school this week, something switched in her attitude. She received the extra credit points in Math and reminded her Science teacher to enter her last ditch efforts for the third quarter. She also started hanging out with a different group of friends.
Now, her class is small and the girls have had DRAMA since their first day of kindergarten. This is a battle I’ve gotten used to. Daily, she would cry or pout or complain about this said drama. It seemed like no matter what she did, one particular girl would go out of her way to belittle her.
Grace is a smart girl. She’s friendly and outgoing, and she speaks her mind. She’s not afraid of what others think about her. Yet, she’s sensitive. She’s a tough cookie on the outside but soft inside. Rarely, would she let this girl see her upset. She’d defend anyone that was being bullied and took on the brunt of the hateful behavior so others didn’t have to. But, I’d hear about it everyday. We’ve meet with her teachers and principal throughout the years but to no avail. This mean girl could not be stopped. I often questioned Grace’s participation in the drama, but always found it to be in defense of another classmate.
After getting to know this girl’s parents through various events, I've learned that this is how they are. The drama, the gossip, the belittling…all of it is how they live. It’s disgusting and sad.
Since returning to school, she has strengthened a bond with a couple of girls that were always the odd ducks out. They were exclusively each other’s friends and were not always inviting for others to join. Somehow, they let Grace in and the drama has stopped. The mean girl is still the mean girl. She still tries to get at Grace…even more now than before. But, Grace won’t allow it. She’s removed herself from the situation and has new friends to back her up. She’s maturing and realizing none of the drama matters.
When she gets home from school now, she goes to her room, turns on some music and studies. She rewrites lecture notes, creates study guides and organizes her school work. She talks to her new friends, but not about other people. She is eager to join in family activities, plays with her brother and sister, does her chores and is a lovely young lady to be around.
I couldn’t say that just a few short weeks ago. Honestly, she made my life a living hell.
I’m so proud of the young lady she is becoming. And I want to hug the mothers of these two girls for doing such a great job in raising their young ladies.
Grace managed to pull her grades up and will be receiving Silver Honors at tomorrow’s assembly. She then will be having a sleepover with her friends…a well deserved reward for the wonderful person she is.