I'm heartsick tonight.
Right before bed, my daughter started crying and proceeded to tell us that her best friend, the little girl we've loved and taken to baseball games and had to dinner and over to play, has been demanding she give her money to be her friend.
She took money out of her own piggy bank for who knows how long, a quarter at a time. And then, when her friend told her to take it from her brother, she snuck into his savings and took two dollars from him.
It finally crushed her. It crushed us.
I had to call the mom, a woman I completely and utterly adore, who I think is probably one of the best moms I have ever known, to ask her if her daughter had taken money from mine.
8:45 at night is not the time for this. There is no good time for this.
It is heartbreak for all of us. For the kids, who may or may not ever have that special friendship they once had. Us moms, who may or may not have the special friendship we once had. The kids, utterly broken because they know they made some very bad choices. Us moms, utterly broken wondering where we went wrong.
I don't think there was malice on either of the girl's parts. I don't think my daughter's friend is a bully. I just think something that started fun ended up very badly, in a situation that spiraled out of control. Part of what makes me heartsick is how easily is spiraled that way, and how young they are for such a thing.
If they had been older....
If it had been something even more serious...
It is the reason I can never find it in my heart to judge another mom or child. In even the worst of cases, I never think, That couldn't be me.
It is the reason I live on the teetering edge of worry: because that could always be me.
One small decision. One bad choice. One friend who makes a bad choice.
The perfect world we try to create for our children is a fragile and precarious one. Just like our own.