Last week the 3 year old brother of a girl in my daughter’s first grade class passed away. Naturally, she was out for a few days & the teacher had to explain to the kids what had happened & they all made her cards. Sophia of course had some questions when she came home from school that day. “Why would a 3 year old have to go to Heaven?” “Is my little sister going to die?” “Why was he sick? He was just a baby.” We talked it all over with her, she seemed to understand, as much as a 6 year old can. But it wasn’t how well she grasped it that made me feel proud. It was what happened the following week that made my heart smile.
I was helping out in her class & saw that the little girl was back in school. She gave me a big hug (she was also in my daughter’s Kindergarten class that I helped in as well) & I told her how sorry I was about her brother. She looked at me with a big excited smile & said “Sophia sat with me at lunch!” Since they were in the middle of an assignment I didn’t want to get into full conversation so I just smiled & said “that’s awesome!” It wasn’t until my daughter & I got in the car that I got the rest of the story.
I should add that this little girl is rather shy & quiet. She’s from India & is very traditional to the culture so she doesn’t dress the same way as the other kids. She doesn’t bring peanut butter & fluff sandwiches like the other kids do. But that’s ok, who wants to be generic anyway? But because of this some of the other kids tend to not pay much attention to her. She doesn’t have many friends. And while Sophia has never been mean to her, in fact she’s stood up for her in the past, she doesn’t necessarily hang out with her in school.
So we’re driving home, all .9 miles away & my daughter tells me she decided to sit with the little girl at lunch today & not her own group of friends she normally sits with. She told me she wanted to make sure she was ok. I asked Sophia what she said to her at lunch. She said “I told her I was sorry for her loss” & asked if she wanted to talk about funny things to take her mind off everything.” My heart kind of fluttered instantly. How does my 6 year old even know to use the term “I’m sorry for your loss??” I was so proud of her in that moment. So full of pride & love. And I love that she helped this little girl forget things, even if it was just during the 30 minute lunch period by telling funny stories & making silly faces. She asked Sophia if she would sit with her the next day at lunch too.
In that moment I knew immediately I had done something right. All those times I felt like I was failing as a mom or could be doing better, it was this moment. This quick, less than a mile long car ride, that told me I did it. I did everything right up to this point. I told her how awesome that was & nice of her. I told her how proud of her I was & said “I think I’m gonna cry” (a line I tend to use a lot) to which she rolled her eyes & said “ugh, mom you’re so lame. Turn the radio up, I love this song.” And that was it. She went about singing away to Sam Hunt in the backseat like nothing happened. Like it wasn’t a big deal. While I’m STILL thinking about it, STILL proud as hell of her.
She may not have saved a little old lady from a burning building or helped get a cat out of a tree but to me & her father, she helped save this little girl from a broken heart at least for one day. And I can smile at night knowing what an amazing little girl she turned out to be.
And her regular lunch table with her pals now has a new friend at lunch every day.