I wrote this at least a year ago, but never posted it because I didn’t want to embarrass Mary Polly.
But now that this incident is such a very distant memory, I’m sure it will be fine. Also, I’m happy to report that she seems to be thriving so far in middle school.
Sometime in September:
One afternoon last week the phone rang and a little mouse on the other end of the line said,
MP: Mama, my tummy hurts.
ME: Honey, can you speak up? I can’t really hear you. Is this Mary Polly?
MP: Yes, Mama, my stomach is really hurting.
She sounded very sad.
ME: OK, honey. I’ll be there in a sec.
Once she got home, she just melted into a little pile on the couch. She started crying and somehow, I had a hunch that the problem was not originating in her belly. Finally, in one almost completely unintelligible breath, she said:
Some kids were being so mean today in PE and were saying that Evan sucks and they didn’t want Christian on their team and the teacher was saying they were having bad sportsmanship and I was saying yes, they are and then it was my turn to go and I missed the ball and everyone yelled you stink and made fun of me and it reeeeeeeeeeally hurt my feeeeeeeeeeeelings.
Followed by fits of sobbing.
Friends, this is a child who will not be eating her locker combination.
Because she really needs to beef up for middle school, I probably should have sent her right back to the playground to face her enemies.
Or helped her come up with a clever comeback to You stink!
But since I am perfectly capable of working up a stomachache over some hurt feelings and because I’ve never been quick with a comeback, we both curled up with books and had a nap instead.