Watching her anxious little face with an expression all her own, yet etched sometimes on her mothers, I am acutely aware of her unspoken desire. She wants to be inside the circle. The farmer has already chosen his wife, the wife her child, the child, her nurse and now there are only a few coveted positions left. Dear God, I think, “please let them choose her.” And then just as quickly, “Don’t let me feel this again.”
Created with this intense need to be a part of a group, I immediately flip through my memory files and upload experiences of strong emotional data. I recall times when I felt insincere as I faked nonchalance before being invited into a group, secure and squarely centered in the middle of a group, trapped in a group I regretted being in, and depressed over being left out of a group.
I un-wantingly project possible scenarios onto my granddaughter, drawing from an arsenal of generational stories. I can see future drama/trauma with best friends, “popular” crowds, boyfriends, cheerleading try-outs, school admissions, sorority rushes, and multiple cliques of various kinds, which will demand a certain amount of skill in the art of people-pleasing. I desperately fight off the urge to grab her and carry her away to a place where I can give her all the tools that I have acquired for playing the game of life in hopes of sparing her tender heart from the inevitable .
The nurse takes the dog and the dog takes the cat. My little girl is still outside the circle, still waiting with that wide-eyed look of near begging . Two places left, the rat and the cheese.
Clarity and wisdom speak to me and I receive the message. My granddaughter can stand alone. She will learn to stand alone. She will learn that she is never really alone even when she feels that way. She will learn to contribute and to thrive in groups. She will learn when to compromise and when to be firm in her convictions. She will learn to hold her tongue and she will find her voice. When and where and how she will learn all of these things is up to the One who loves her best, and I am going to ask Him to keep her close while I give Him praise and cheer her on.
This post appears in GRAND Social linky