“It’s not FAIR!” is something that parents hear quite often.
I tell my kids, “Fair is a place with peanuts and elephants.”
Life doesn’t really dish out “fair.” Even when you try to instill fairness in your children’s treatment of others, it’s not always something they get back. The best you can do is teach your children how to be resilient. To take what life gives them, and deal with it as an event and not a character flaw.
As a parent, the leading by example in this case isn’t always easy. You learn these things when you are a child, but the complications that come with growing up sometimes skew the understanding of them. Like receiving a coded manuscript with the secrets of life when you are a child, but being unable to decipher them until you struggle through learning a brand new language.
“No one watched the play we put on at recess today,” my daughter confided in me tearfully after I picked her up from school one day. “They wanted to go to a different classroom because they didn’t get wifi for their devices.”
My heart ached for her, my budding playwright who wakes up nearly every day with enthusiasm and joy. “You can teach it to your sisters tonight, I would love to see it!”
She was silent. I went on, “Do you think Mommy stops writing when someone gives me a negative review of my book?”
Shrugging, I could see her eyes watching me from the rearview mirror.
“Words can hurt, but don’t let them stop you. I couldn’t stop writing my stories if I wanted to. And you know something else? I wouldn’t. Don’t ever let anyone crush your dreams, baby.”
She managed to stop crying, but the disappointment in her classmates was still there even when the evening’s performance roused a standing ovation.
“I love your cheery view of the world and the way you make everyone laugh is so uniquely you!” I told her.
I wondered if my words were filed away in the “to be deciphered later” file. Or if they will take the edge off of the pain the next time her class, or the world, disillusions her. Most mornings I try to set a happy atmosphere at breakfast and the ride to school to give them the best start to their day. Sometimes it crashes and burns and there is name-calling, crying, and a very late start out the door with shoes on the wrong feet and a hole in the uniform pants… but a girl has to try, right?
Choosing joy each day is a worthy goal. For myself and most especially for my girls. To show them that the world is only as big and bad as they choose to see it.