So much of this blog is happy and upbeat. I like to look on the positive side of life, to give my children all that I can, to make their lives amazing.
But now that they are getting older there is so much that I can’t control. Both girls are away from me for 6 hours every day, forging a life of their own at school, making friends, having arguments, making achievements and mistakes in equal measure. I cannot protect them as much anymore and the world can be a cruel place.
This week there were elections for school council at school. Bean who is 8 was desperate to be voted onto the council. She worked on her election speech for a week. She asked the teachers and me for help. She practised in front of us and in front of her nanny. She told me that she could imagine the moment that they said she had been successful.
I tried to help her, I tried to prepare her for the fact that she might not win. I told her I would be proud of her no matter what happened.
The worst happened – she didn’t get it.
Her little face as she crossed the playground after school looked so sad. She had held her tears in all day at school but she was bitterly disappointed.
So much of school life (and life after unfortunately) is a popularity test. I’ve never been the popular one either and I would have shied away from such opportunities knowing it would be futile. But she hasn’t learnt that yet. Is that a good thing? Her life is full of hope and optimism. She has been surrounded by love and great things. Now she is learning that life isn’t all fun and games, that we don’t get everything that we want, that life at times simply isn’t fair.
These are horrible, horrible lessons to learn. And whilst my head tells me that we all have to learn them sometimes my heart just screams why? Why do I have to prepare her to live in a world where the prettiest / cleverest / funniest girl wins. Why do I have to explain to her that we can’t have everything I want? Why do her dreams have to be crushed at the tender age of 8?
She handled it well. She shed a few tears and we talked about it. She is going to go for another opportunity next week. Her dream may have been crushed but her spirit has not been. We went to the park for some carefree fun to take her mind off it. But this is just the first of many of life’s disappointments, and it makes me wonder why there isn’t a better way, why life has to be so hard at times. Is this the beginning of her changing from a child into an adult?
I look at this picture I took of her in the park that afternoon and I can see a sadness in her eyes even though she is smiling. I know that today the evils of that Friday at school have been more or less forgotten but I know that there will be many more disappointments and that each one will take a little more shine out of her innocent eyes. I can’t create a better world for her, but I guess I can help her where I can, and where I can’t help her, I can be there for her, doing everything I can to keep some of that light shining.
I’m linking this post up with Katie’s Ordinary Moments, where I normally link up special little ordinary moments in our lives. This moment was not a great ‘special’ one for us, but it was definitely ordinary in the sense that disappointment happens to everyone, and it is the fact that it is so ordinary, so expected in some ways, that makes me so very sad.