The Cowboy and I were standing there the other day .. when a little friend of my daughter’s came up to her just as the 5th grade graduation ceremony had ended .. and said, “Our other friend is mad at you again. She is. And she really doesn’t want to talk to you.”
I looked at her, not believing what I was hearing on some level. Wanting to laugh on another. I saw my daughters shoulders sag under the heavy weight of more drama between them all.
She looked at my daughter, waiting for a response. Then she batted her eyes at me.
“I’m sorry, honey, what did you say?” I asked, as if I hadn’t heard the first announcement.
I had gotten to know this child a bit as well over the past year through both volunteering at school and at different events. And, every time I see her, she gives me as big a hug as possible, I think in part because she needs it. But also because she knows it irritates the bajeezus out of my own daughter, frustrated by someone who she would prefer is a friend, but who seems more often a foe, doing what she can as often as she can, to stir trouble. There have just been ongoing issues and drama since the beginning of this school year. And my daughter has tried her best, I believe to befriend her, as she was also once new in that school and knew what it was like to need a friend.
The little girl repeated herself.
My daughter, sounding frazzled, sad and frustrated replied, “What? No she’s not.”
The three of them have been spending a lot of time recently with the guidance counselor trying to work things out. Much of the school year has been spent negotiating this relationship, actually. For some reason, the drama only seems to build, not wane. And it doesn’t seem to matter what is said or done. There is never any making it better. Not for more than a couple hours anyway. Often when I walk into school, people ask, ‘How is your daughter doing?’ because something else has happened that day.
I had done my best to stay out of it all year. Be an ear for my daughter. Help her think through how she might best handle the situation on her own. But knowing she had cried over another apparent misunderstanding created by the third party the night before, called her best friend to work it out, clear up the notion there even was a problem, then seeing the effort right in front of me to stir it all up again .. I couldn’t help myself.
“Perhaps if (best friend) is still having some issues with (my daughter), the two of them should speak directly to each other, would you be okay with that” I said to her.
“That way you don’t have to be a go-between, which would probably make it easier on you …. and then they won’t have any miscommunications about problems that might exist that really don’t. Otherwise, I think they have it worked out,” I said. “Is that okay?”
She nodded her head.
“Great,” I ended the conversations. We stepped to the side to take a family photo.
While I’d like to say if for no other reason to be happy the school year ends tomorrow, it might be, that we can move past the social challenges of 5th grade. The time when it seems the drama really kicks in.
But, sometimes .. people get stuck in 5th grade ..
You know who I’m talking about .. those who always need a little drama, or when there is none, are more than happy to stir it up.
4. any situation or series of events having vivid, emotional, conflicting, or striking interest or results.
The Cowboy and I were talking a bit about two particular issues that have come up where that is the case. In just the past 48 hours. Funny thing is, typically the person who loves to create it is quick to point out its not them, but you that is the problem.
And if you would just cooperate ….. the world would be a much better place.
As adults, you would think we should know better than to engage. But it’s tough .. you feel like the little boy or girl again in 5th grade. Exasperated it seems there is nothing you can do to fix a situation. Because, in my opinion, there is no ‘situation’ other than the one someone is creating for you. Exhausting. Who has time for that?
The Cowboy says it helps him to step back and think about what someone’s motives might be .. to best deal with any drama, as some people are motivated simply to get what they want. They need to feel, regardless of whether or not they are actually in control, in control. They need and want that power. And unless one takes a deep breath and stands still long enough to recognize it, we get swept up in it. Great insight, Cowboy (according to the following article.)
The mother of my daughter’s best friend .. as we spoke the other night about future play dates .. mentioned she thought that was the case with the other little girl.
That the drama she is creating between our girls is her way to have some control in a world where she feels she has little to none. A point that just absolutely makes me feel sad for her. Sad especially, that she would see that as a solution versus just being a good friend. That creating drama is her way to be able to not only have others possibly need her, but it might also be where she feels in the midst of chaos she can also come in and be the hero and fix it all, too.
Whatever the challenges we face .. be it 5th grade, making friends, finding our way, changing interests, changing bodies, new schools, new classes and creating our own good space in life .. or a new job .. adult friendships .. perhaps a relationship or a marriage..
May drama only be a class you take or a reference to one of the first three definitions according to Webster’s:
1. a composition in prose or verse presenting in dialogue orpantomime a story involving conflict or contrast of character, especially one intended to be acted on the stage; a play.
2. the branch of literature having such compositions as its subject; dramatic art or representation.
3. the art dealing with the writing and production of plays.
Best of luck, dear sweet girls .. in 6th grade!