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6th Grade

The Facade – by Galit B.

Today Galit shares a piece of a memory and how it affects her now as a mother. She has a gift with words so be sure to check out her blog, These Little Waves.

* * *

I scrape my feet against the sidewalk. A breeze blows wisps of my banana-clipped hair against my cheeks.

I hear their steps, see their shadows, feel their presence.

My heart, drums.

My face, flushes.

My fear, overwhelms.

They form an unbreakable circle around me flinging words and jabs and insults.

I look down, will them to disappear.

A car rumbles forcing my eyes up. My mother pulls into the circle, stops in front of us.

They talk to her in syrupy sweetness, make an opening for me to pass through. She smiles and waves and greets them as I rush to the car.

One of the girls calls, “Good bye Galit!” Her voice ices through me.

I lean my forehead against the window- the only barrier between them and me. They turn on their heels and walk away. My eyes follow them, I release the breath that I didn’t realize I was still holding.

“How nice that your friends waited with you!” My mother says. Her words wash over me. I don’t respond.

***

Awhile back Kelly asked me to share my Mean Girls story. I sat down to write and found myself staring at the screen longer than I care to admit.

I’m so busy! I said.

I’m overdrawn. I explained.

The words, they’re just not coming. I excused.

And deep inside I thought, Why? Why open these wounds? Look at them with fresh eyes? Why hurt again?

I’m not the same girl that I was then. I would never let anyone treat me that way.

But while these experiences are in my past, I’m the mother of three young children which plants my feet right back in that circle, learning how to maneuver girls and friendships and personalities.

Today my children are so very lucky. They enter new situations assuming only one outcome- smiles wide, fingers laced, friendships made.

My heart aches to protect them. To keep them from learning that sometimes people are thoughtless, cruel, and yes- even mean.

I realize that I can’t be there for every twist and turn that they take. Nor do I think that would be best.

So what terrifies me at my core is the thought of my children experiencing a Mean Girls moment and me not knowing, misunderstanding, even encouraging the friendship.

It’s imagining them silently leaning against the window that pushes me to puzzle piece what to do, how to teach, when to step in.

Perhaps I’m not digging beneath the surface of these painful memories as an adult, I’m doing it as a mother.

***

Thank you Kelly for having me here today. And for pushing me to write. And for not questioning me when I couldn’t {wouldn’t?} get the words out.

Galit: Thank you for sharing a piece of your story. I sense there is much more, but for you it is best left in the past – except for the small piece to help you as a mother. This one small piece hits every parent’s fear.

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About Kelly K @ Dances with Chaos

Kelly K has learned the five steps to surviving of motherhood: 1) Don't get mad. Grab your camera. 2) Take a photograph. 3) Blog about it. 4) Laugh. 5) Repeat. She shares these tales at Dances with Chaos in order to preserve what tiny amount of sanity remains. You can also find her on her sister blog, Writing with Chaos (www.writingwithchaos.com) sharing memoir and engaging in her true love: fiction writing. It's cheaper than therapy.

Discussion

6 thoughts on “The Facade – by Galit B.

  1. Oh Galit, how I wish I could swoop in and do a roundhouse to that whole circle. It scares me to death that I won’t see, can’t see. My 3rd grader seems to be fairing well, but my heart breaks for my kindergartener who loves and hugs all, wants to be friends with all. It saddens me that even at that age, meaness abounds.

    But look at the compassionate, giving, loving person you are. Not that you wouldn’t be without those experiences, but I’d like to think that the ugliness we see sometimes teaches us to hold on and cherish the beauty we are blessed with. A lesson in forgiveness? A chance to overcome? Resilience? I hope there’s a purpose.

    XO

    Posted by Ash | September 19, 2011, 8:40 AM
    • Thank so much for your note Ash! Yes, I think there’s a reason for everything and I do think this group of girls is one reason why I’m so sensitive about my kids being kind. And one more yes- yes, I’m terrified for my kids to experience this. Can’t we just keep them in our pockets? :) Thanks for the love, friend!

      Posted by Galit Breen | September 19, 2011, 10:17 PM
  2. Thanks for having me here today Kelly!

    Posted by Galit Breen | September 19, 2011, 8:51 AM
  3. This post broke my heart and brought back memories of when I was bullied. It is such a heartbreaking thing to go through, especially when the girls are fake in front of adults and they don’t realize that the other girls really aren’t nice. I am sorry you had to go through this and I hope your kids never have “friends” like these. Thank you for sharing today,

    Posted by Alison at Mommy is a Power Ranger | September 19, 2011, 4:40 PM
  4. Galit, I’m so sorry you had to experience something like this. But I believe from your heartfelt post that you’ll be vigilant to those non-verbal cues given off by your children. You have experience like this so You WILL know if something is wrong and you will act. Trust yourself and your maternal instincts.

    Posted by Trish Loye Elliott | October 11, 2011, 8:54 AM

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