Last night however I experienced a new sense of pride. Pride isn’t even a strong enough word, it’s probably more like awe. It was an act of kindness that my eight year old told me about that just melted my heart. Chloe was chatting over dinner about her day as she does each evening. Chloe’s a talker, she tells me she gets it from the Molloy side of the family (her dad’s). So generally at dinner I’m half listening to her as I nod in agreement, trying to eat and simultaneously keep Sean from pouring his drink into his dinner. It also doesn’t help that Sean tries to join in the conversation whenever Chloe speaks and wants all her attention. “MY DAY WAS GREAT”, he usually shouts over her.
But this time something Chloe was talking about caught my attention and I found myself listening more intently. She was talking about a new game that she plays at lunch time in the school yard. It’s a club they made up called ‘The Mermaid Club’ and in the game everyone is given a mermaid name and has special powers. She described in detail all about the magical world they live in and how they help all the sea creatures who need help. It sounded like a wonderful world of imagination.
What struck me about the story however was when she explained that she set up the club so that other kids who had nobody to play with wouldn’t feel left out. It was a club that was created to make others feel less alone. She told me it started one day when nobody would play with her, she spotted another girl standing alone too so she skipped over to her. The other girl told Chloe that nobody wanted to play with her and Chloe responded “join the club”. So the idea for the mermaid club was born. The two of them would circle the yard each day and invite others who had nobody to play with and ask them to join the club. They made sure everyone who was alone was included and soon they had a club of six members.
Chloe is a happy, bright, confident and friendly little girl so it’s very hard to hear that she is sometimes lonely in school and that her other so called ‘friends’ don’t make time for her during yard time. Your heart sinks somewhat as a mother when you hear this and there’s an instinct inside where you automatically want to fix her problems and make her happy. But this isn’t always possible.
But I really don’t have to worry. Chloe is a resilient kid (it just hit me there and then). She bounces back quickly, she gets on with things and has the ‘cop on’ to figure out solutions to everyday problems. These are the fundamentals that will ultimately help her throughout her life. Resilience is something to be proud of. It is something she is clearly developing without much help from me but I think it is something we, as parents, can nurture.
My daughter doesn’t shy away from tough situations, she doesn’t get upset or complain much and she always strives to turn negatives into positives. She’s innately empathetic, she has a good temperament and she’s got a natural kindness towards others. As she finished her story I gave her a big hug. It was no big deal to her so she was kind of confused but inside the pride overwhelmed me and I realised I can learn a lot from my daughter!