Wednesday, April 8, 2009

That Sound You Just Heard? My Heart Breaking.

This morning I found a crumpled announcement in Bear's backpack for a Writer's Reception after school today. Students from the local college would be leading a workshop to introduce a school-wide writing contest and give the junior high kids pointers.

Bear is a capital-W Writer. She writes constantly and prolifically, never going anywhere without a notebook. An entire shelf in her closet is dedicated to her writing notebooks, her lists of story ideas, and character sketches. She's been known to leap off the couch in the middle of a movie to go jot down a sudden story idea.

I waved the piece of paper at her and asked if she'd seen it.

Bear: Yes.

Me: Well, are you going?

Bear (hesitant): I don't know.

Me: Why?

Bear: Welllll...I'm not sure if anyone I know will be going.

Me: Who cares? This is about writing! Just think of all the great pointers you could pick up.

Bear: Yeah...

Me: Are you going to enter the contest?

Bear: Um...

Daddy Shortbread: Oh, come on. If there were an after-school program where they were handing out free money, would you first wait to find out if any of your friends would be there?

Bear (dead serious): Yes.

And there you have it. We have officially entered the phase of Peer Pressure. It kills me that she would suppress her own interests lest she not appear cool. But I also remember being that age, and I do remember how truly important it seemed not to stand out from the herd, even though the perspective of time has shown me just how ridiculous that was. All I can do is continue to support and encourage her interests at home and hope that eventually, please God, she will realize that peer approval is nothing if you're not true to yourself.

4 comments:

Jen on the Edge said...

Grace has been dealing with some of this with her 4th grade crowd. Luckily, she's still being true to herself and not worrying about what a few prima donnas think. But I wonder how long this will last? We just keep doing what you did -- lots of encouragement and love.

The Lucky Mrs. T said...

I am dreading this day. We already have enough drama in our house....

I enjoyed reading this post, and your others as well. You really cracked me up on the dance recital list. I can relate.

Adding you to my list of followed blogs, hope you don't mind! :)

2true said...

I can totally hear Mr. Shortbread saying that money bit.

grandpa said...

Bear,
Grandma and grandpa always told your dad, "Unto thy own self be true". It does not matter in the least bit what your friends think about you!! What matters is what you think of yourself. You will move on to bigger and better things in your life if you are not hamstrung by "what your supposed friends may think". They will remain in the doldrums of their very ordinary life. You,go for it gal! Always take every opportunity to excel and be the very best! Leaders do not ask for permission from their "friends". Your parents and your grandparents are all proud of you! Someday, a smart young man will also be very proud to have you for his wife. Do not accept mediocrity, ever! Do not hold back for fools! We love you.
Grandpa and Grandma