Girls, Girls, Girls?
I’m trying to remember back to when I was 7 years old and my interaction with friends. Memory has its way of sorting out the bad and all I can remember is a variety of good friends that I knew throughout elementary school and how we had a long history together at that time in our lives. I can remember the clicks and the kids that were in (luckily I was one of them I thought) and out and I can remember feeling sad for those who seemed left out, but yet never did anything about it from I what I recollect.
Today, the girls seem a bit different to me. At least that is what I think and have heard from others. But maybe it is not so. Maybe life has just changed a bit and a seven year old is learning about life, groups and interacting with others much faster than we did.
One day Zoé-Pascale came home from school elated that she has been asked to join a club with four other girls; Cassandra, Hélène, Louise, and Marianne. The club was based on the Winx Club (a takeoff from the Winx cartoon show and books about teenage fairies who have powers). It all started well until they decided Zoé-Pascale should be Techna (the fairy with technical powers) and she really wanted to be Flora (the fairy with nature powers). But to her dismay one of the other girls had chosen Flora first. Dinner table conversations were full of how to handle the dilemma and I bought books and DVDs on all the fairies so she could get to know them all and hopefully begin to relate to Techna.
Winx Club Fairies
After all as her mother I wanted her to be part of the club, to be included, to have friends. The following week, she’s out. In explaining how this came to pass, Zoé said that she didn’t want to be on the bottom (which meant she couldn’t pick Flora as her fairy) and she wanted Amandine to be included in the club. Otherwise she said, “Amandine wouldn’t have anyone to play with and she’s my friend too.”
“How thoughtful” Jean and I said to each other. She is thinking of others and doesn’t want to let down her other new friend.
“How do you feel about not being included?”
With all her wisdom she explains, “They will ask me back when they are ready. Meanwhile I have Amandine as a friend. Besides I don’t want to be on the bottom. I will form my own club and then can be on top.”
Wow, Jean and I thought. If she has learned not to be pushed around by other girls, go her own way and follow her own heart, living in France has been well worth it.
Today she comes home from school. “New news Maman!” she exclaims. They invited me back into the club and I accepted and they invited Amandine too. But Louise is no longer in it. It’s okay.”
So, I asked her. “Are you on the bottom, top or middle now?” I’m in the middle which I like. We voted that Cassandra and Hélène could be the Chefs (Bosses). I want them both to be the Chefs.”
“Why not you? Don’t you want to be the chef? “
“No I think it is too much work to organize four other girls!”
Amazing I thought and what will happen tomorrow? For awhile I felt torn up every time she told me the girls didn’t want to play with her and elated when I heard she was included. But to her she was so easily able to go with flow and not feel hurt by being in and out of the club. A type of flexibility I hope stays with her forever!