I’ve been absent this past week. My kids were on Spring Break, so I decided to take a week of vacation to be with them. I mean, what kids want to sit in the house and do nothing all day while the weather is beautiful? My oldest would have been watching my youngest while my husband and I work. One of our big rules is no going outside while we aren’t home. So, we did things. Mostly outside things. Usually my daughter, who is almost 11, would have been having sleepover after sleepover with her closest friends. That didn’t really happen last week. She’s having a bit of friend woes and it’s so hard to watch.
Middle school is often referred to as a time of transition. No more elementary school. My daughter witnessed her first fight in school. She had a desk flipped on her by a troubled boy in class. She has even come home talking about a 5th grade girl who got suspended for vaping in gym class. I believe for girls this middle school transition is a bit rougher. Some of these girls are just starting to go through puberty (thankfully my daughter seems to be a late bloomer…so far). Their emotions are high. They are trying to find their place in a social circle. My daughter has a circle of friends from basketball and softball. She became very close with a girl about 2 years ago. They were inseparable. We’ll call her K. I love this girl. She’s a good kid…smart, funny, kind and a joy to be around. I became very good friends with her mother. We all even went on vacation together last year. The girls started middle school together this school year and ended up in some of the same classes! They were so excited, especially when they were back in school face to face. They both made the same travel softball team last summer as well. It wasn’t until about 2 months ago things started to go awry.
Now, with the middle school in our school district, kids are coming from 3 different elementary schools. The opportunity to meet new friends is great. My daughter is a bit shier thank K. While she talks to various people, she has called K. her best friend. In my 5th graders mind, best friends never leave each other out…no matter what. Well, K. has made a couple of new friends. Some of them aren’t the best kids. They certainly aren’t kids I would want MY daughter hanging around. In the past couple of months, K. has been ignoring Gianna in the halls at school and at Show Choir after school. During Spring Break, K. decided to hang out with her new group of friends and leave Gianna in the dust. They had plans, but K. broke them. Gianna was understandably hurt. She’s not just hurt because K. dumped her as a bestie, but because she also lied about it. She blew off softball practice to hang out with her new friends as well. Of course other girls on the softball team knew because she made TikToks while the rest of the team was busting their ass. Let me tell y’all, that didn’t sit well with the coaches. This is travel ball, not rec and K. was letting her team down.
It’s quite obvious K. is going through something. Her mother even recognizes this. She is not happy with her actions or decisions as of late. (Social media and Snapchat were involved in something scandalous, at least scandalous for an impressionable 5th grader). She can’t force her to be best friends with my daughter, but she did tell her that even though you’ve made new friends, you never drop the old ones. Just Saturday, the team had softball practice. K. showed up, but she wasn’t happy. You could tell she didn’t want to be there. Gianna and her barely spoke. You could sense the tension.
I feel bad for Gianna. Losing a best friend hurts. She was bummed out all Spring Break. She went to her room and cried multiple times. She does have other friends and they did get together last week. But, nothing compares to your best friend. The one that gets you. The one with whom you merely look at each other and bust up laughing. She said she feels like a part of her is missing and that she doesn’t know who K. is anymore. I told G. that sometimes you just have to let people go. Sometimes they come back to you, sometimes they don’t. I suppose all I can do is be there for Gianna when she opens up and will talk. Oh, and I’ll always look through her text messages, TikToks and Snapchats! Because…that’s what moms do! I’ll whip out those helicopter blades in a hot minute!!