Our First Casualty

I guess I figured it would happen eventually. I’m pretty optimistic in general, but I’m not foolish. I knew that not everyone we know would follow us down the rainbow brick road. And it seems we’ve had our first casualty.

thOne of E’s very first friends is a girl she met in a pre-school art class. I will call her Donna, although that is not her name. At the time, they appeared very similar – they were the smallest ones in the class, two teeny, giggling, adorable kids. They were fast friends. I became friendly with her mom and a nice relationship formed. They were happy to find they were going to the same elementary school and we even carpooled to an extracurricular activity together for years. As they got older, they weren’t the closest of friends, but E always felt a special thing for Donna because of their history together.

A few days ago, as I was approaching E’s school to pick her up at the end of the day, I saw E trying to talk to Donna. Donna kept moving away. When E got in the car, she was sad and confused. Donna didn’t want to be her friend anymore and she couldn’t figure out why. E was really upset.

I don’t want to say the details of what happened but I contacted neither Donna’s family nor the school.  I always make every attempt to help my kids work these things out on their own.  But I found out from the administrators that Donna’s parents emailed the school.  They want Donna away from E. They went about it in a way that was hurtful and mean-spirited. There is nothing real that happened between E and Donna that would warrant this. I don’t know whom the specific source is – Donna or her parents, but I guess it doesn’t really matter. Donna is a little girl who lives in her home with her family and they have their philosophy. It involves the pink and blue boxes of gender and it doesn’t have any wiggle room.

I can tell you this: lies were told and judgments were made about E.  I am not a parent who thinks her child is perfect and without fault.  Far from it. But in this case, it is crystal clear (not just to me) what this is about. At the end, it was I who wanted E away from Donna.

I remembered something Donna’s mom had chastised me for once. Why in the world do you let E play with boys?

It was with a very sad heart that I had to sit E down and tell her to stay away from Donna. Her friend from the time she was three. A child who has no chance of remaining friends with E because her parents are shut off to the unique beauty of my child.

It is the right thing for E, the separation. It is very clear to me that Donna and her family are not safe for E now. They will cause trouble, make up stories. They are not on her side. They do not have her back. We stand here and they stand there and that is how it will be now.

E’s eyes brimmed over with tears. Why Mom? What happened to Donna?

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