Poor Natalie. Today she got schooled in the way of the bitches. It’s such a hard lesson for a middle schooler, but a lesson we all learned. You know it’s true. We are bitches. We are catty and mean to each other for no apparent reason. And this seems to happen around the time we enter middle school. It’s like a switch flips inside our little female brains that tells us to do evil to each other. I talked to a couple of friends today and they confirmed that middle school was that difficult time for them as well. When I was younger we were known as pre-teens but I really like today’s terminology of Tween to describe this age group. It really is a developmental stage caught in between childhood and early adulthood and for me, these years were the most difficult I can ever remember experiencing.
I remember the first time I realized my friends were lying to me. One girlfriend was going out of town for the weekend and had invited me to join her and a third friend. Woohoo, we’re going to the beach! Lucky me! The night before we were to leave I received a call from friend #1 to say that her parents told her she could not bring any friends along. I was disappointed but ok with that. I called friend #2 to wallow in our sorrows together. The problem was that friend #2 wasn’t wallowing at all. She was packing. That was an ouchie that hurt for a long time.
I had a chance to talk to Natalie about what happened today. She was mad. Really mad. I asked if she was going to talk to her friends about what happened and she said no. Apparently this isn’t the first time these two so called friends have been mean to her so she knows from experience that talking to them won’t help the situation. At 11 years old, she’s already realized some very harsh truths about how her friends behave. She said she’s been with one when that one was saying bad things about the other so she knows they talk about her when she’s not with them. This is so sad. I wanted to hug her but she had her game face on and I could tell she was happy just venting so I let her do that. She even said to me that she didn’t think she wanted to be friends with them anymore. The sad thing is these are her two best friends and have been for years.
I shared my little story with her and she laughed at me and said my story was way worse than hers. I’m really happy to see that she’s not letting it get her down. She said she was going to be silently angry and just not hang around them, which made me a little happy on the inside. Now that I know what these girls have been doing to her this year, I’m fairly relieved. But, I also know that the female of our species is fickle. We change our minds like we change our underwear. And, we easily forgive. I expect to hear stories soon about the things these three girls have been up to. However, I think that Natalie is going to be a bit more cautious going forward. Unfortunately, for each of these two girls, there are dozens more just like them. My hope for Natalie is that she finds that one real girl who will be her true friend.
I hope that his little talk tonight helps Natalie realize that, in addition to her mom and dad, I’m here to listen and help when she needs it. I wanted to tell her about all the beautiful friendships she will form throughout the coming years but I think tonight, she just wanted to be mad. I completely get that and saw more than a few similarities in our personalities tonight. I hope that my understanding of her feelings and my experiences will help me be the friend and adviser she will need as she continues through life. I hope that tonight was the first of many heart to hearts shared between friends.
Ok, now it’s time to share. Tell me your worst middle school story. I know you have some and I want to hear them. Mostly, I want to know that I wasn’t alone and I want to be able to tell Natalie that she’s not alone in this either.