“Are you sure you want to go?” I asked my daughter again. “You don’t have to go.”
She nodded confidently but the catch in her voice told me otherwise, “Will you go with me?”
It was three days before my oldest child headed to junior high school and if that’s not big enough in our little world, it was a new school in a new town and she didn’t know a soul. When we read about the Back to School Band Pool Party at her orientation, we thought it would be a great place to meet new friends before the big day.
So she gathered towel and tote and I pulled up the van to the Natatorium and the little-girl-look on her worried face was enough to send me back to the security of home. Instead I watched her take a deep breath and open the door and take the first step into the unknown. Her hope outweighed her fear.
She sat her things down and got in line for the diving board. I sat in the bleachers and wrung my hands. I watched a big group of laughing girls walk past her without a second glance. She dove in and I prayed. I looked around for other lone moms of possible new girls and tried to work it from that angle.
She swam over to a smaller group and stood there nervously at the edge. I silently begged just one girl to acknowledge my beautiful daughter. She finally made eye contact, gave a half wave and I watched her mouth a shy, “hi.” The girls didn’t even look up and then they swam away.
She turned away, shoulders slumped. And I remembered how it felt to be on the edge.
[Click to continue this gut-wrenching story over at (in)Courage and read what my little girl taught me…]