The other day I got a call from the school counselor about my oldest daughter.
I don't know that calls from the school counselor are normally considered a good thing, but this one made me cry.
The school is starting a "friendship group" for another fourth grader who is struggling with fitting in and making friends. I don't know her whole story, but I do know how hard it can be to be a fourth grader who doesn't fit in (been there, done that...I was totally a dork in elementary school and I took my fair share of teasing and ridicule).
Well, my wonderful fourth grade daughter was recommended to be this girl's mentor/friend. They will meet for 30 minutes twice a week to go over school work and Aubrey will be there to help her understand things and just be her friend. Knowing my daughter, this girl will magically become one of Aubrey's good friends and will be maneuvered into her group of buddies. Also knowing my daughter this girl will be protected from teasing and tormenting because Aubrey will not stand for that (she is one tough, but very friendly, cookie).
This is not Aubrey's first round of friendship mentoring. In first grade she was asked to help a sweet girl with some developmental problems. Let's call her Susan. As soon as Aubrey and Susan were paired Aubrey took her under her wing. My sweet daughter helped her with homework but also invited her to our house to play and included her in her birthday party even though other friends tried to tease Aubrey about that. Aubrey would just say, "She's my friend, she gets to come." There was no question. There was no debate. That's just the way it was.
I have seen my girl protect those that needed a friend time and time again. When other friends try to make Aubrey feel bad she just tells them to cut it out and be nice. If they try to ostracize her she doesn't get mad, she just plays with someone else (people like this can ALWAYS find someone to play with). She lets it all roll off and doesn't take it to heart. Then when the people who tormented her want to be friends again a few days later, she accepts that friendship fully holding no grudges. I need to learn that from her.
This little soul is one amazing kid, and I firmly believe that she came to me this way because I don't think I have done one thing to teach her this incredible way of living. I have only supported and encouraged the courageous choices she has made.
She has her flaws, we all do. But in moments like the one that included this phone call from the school counselor I find my heart bursting with pride at the young lady my little girl is choosing to grow into.