“An older kid called my child ‘so annoying‘ today.
TO HER FACE.
And my kid ran up to me, keeping her tears at bay as not to embarrass herself by crying and ‘acting like a baby’ but wholly and heartbreakingly distraught.
I scooped her into my arms, as fast as a mama bear does when ‘protective mode’ of her cub is activated, and she embraced me tightly, and I her.
And, I told her the truth.
That she is not annoying.
That she’s flippin’ amazing as heck and a blast to be around.
That what that child said was rude and inaccurate, but also that it’s not now, nor will it ever be, her responsibility to not be ‘so annoying’ by anyone’s standards.
And that people who are easily annoyed and outwardly mean to others, well, they could use some manners, patience, and grace.
But alas, we are dealing with kids here — children who are just not fully developmentally ready to pick up on, process, and care about the fact that WORDS HURT.
Even when they are said once.
Even if they were meant in jest or not meant to be heard.
Even if you were just frustrated and you ‘didn’t mean it.’
Now listen, I ain’t mad at this other kid.
Nor do I blame the child’s parents for their kid’s less than kind interaction with mine.
But I do blame myself for not sooner realizing how essential it is that I, and all parents, raise our children with enough love, support, encouragement, AND CONVERSATION around self-worth, that they never — NOT EVER — let anyone tell them who or what they are or what they are not.
Because what my daughter always is…IS ENOUGH.
And endearingly imperfect
So dear daughter, please hear me loud and clear when I say:
Remember who you are.
You are a beautiful, kind, smart and talented person.
Remember who you are.
You are mine and your dad’s, and you are eternally His.
Remember that people can be mean.
But you shouldn’t be. Because of their meanness, that’s about them, and no matter how convincing they seem, it’s never about you.
Remember that, often, people talk without thinking.
And they deserve our grace.
And remember that no matter who finds you to be
or too much,
I and others of this world who are meant to be ‘your people’
Life’s way too short to focus on those that don’t like us when it’s a ton more fulfilling to focus on those that do.
Keep on being you, baby girl, and let me inform you of this fact:
If I could go back to being a kid, it’s you, rockstar, who I’d undoubtedly wanna be.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Nicole Merritt of Jthreenme. You can follow her on Facebook, her website, or podcast. Get her new book, Musings for Mom, here. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
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