We are on the road and have been visiting friends. For the past two nights, we've hung out with friends for dinner, and our kids have hung out with each other. The kids all seemed to be having a good time, and we grown ups have enjoyed ourselves.
But then tonight I found out that one of the kids kept saying to my Girl, "I hate you." And I am confident it's true because the Boy confirmed it, and he is a truth teller.
I know this kind of thing is typical kid stuff, but I felt so bad for the Girl when she told me that she's been trying to hold back the tears for the past two nights. I had been wondering why, early in the evening tonight, she was telling me she wanted to go home and go to bed (she didn't tell me about the "hating" until we were on the way home). And I feel a little guilty about the way we tossed our kids together and expected them just to hang out and get along while we grown ups had a few drinks and enjoyed our time together. We do it all of the time, of course, and it usually goes well. But tonight I'm feeling bad about it.
I said all of the usual things to her: "Oh maybe he was just trying to get your attention. Maybe he was just having a bad day. In the past, he's talked about how much he likes you!" Blah, blah, blah. But then I also fessed up that sometimes we meet people who don't like us. I told her, "There are even some people who don't like me, which is weird because I'm so awesome."
But still. "Hate" is such a strong word--one that we rarely, if ever, use in our house--and it just never feels good to feel hated. And for two nights in a row, I unknowingly threw my daughter in with the hate. The first night, she avoided the kid*. Tonight, we were at his house, so that was harder. And what will we do the next time we see these friends? Should we say something? Should we let the kids work it out? Sigh. There really are SO many things to feel guilty and uncertain about, aren't there?
But in other news, I just submitted grades! So there's that . . .
And, overall, the trip has been full of merrymaking and awesome family time, which is really fantastic and, I hope, helps my sweet Girl feel very loved**.
*The kid seems like a good kid, so I really don't know what was up. In contrast, his little brother was going around saying "I love you" to everyone. So maybe he was just in an oppositional mood?
**And the Girl really is not hate-worthy. The proof? In kindergarten, she won an award for being "kind and generous to her classmates." Maybe I need to get her a little badge to wear.