Monday, February 25, 2013

fix it

Claire came home from school in tears today. Unknown to me, Claire's carpool companion who does the afternoon drive didn't go to school today, but had planned on coming to school later in the day. She didn't, but her parents called the school and asked them to tell Claire that they would still be picking her up anyway. The office relayed to Claire that HER dad would be picking her up after dance club. This delighted Claire as her Daddy is always at work after school, and she anticipated some sort of a fun adventure. When school was over and her normal carpool showed up, she assured them that her dad was picking her up. The carpool called me to confirm this after school---it was the first time I had heard anything of it. I was pretty sure Taylor would have mentioned to me that he was picking Claire up, so I told them to take Claire home. She held it together all the way home, but teared up the second she made eye contact with me.

I couldn't get her to tell me what was wrong. Through her tears she told me about the misunderstanding, but insisted that that wasn't the problem. I held her for a long time, but she would not tell me what the problem was. The longer we sat, the more tears fell. I prayed that she would tell me. I prayed to know how to ask her to get her to tell me. Finally I asked her if she could write down the problem. She agreed. I provided a pen and notebook, and she provided the answer:

"Somebody stole my cookie." She was clearly upset as she wrote that sentence because she usually does so much better at spelling. Apparently she unpacked her lunchbox at lunch, had a bite of cookie, started on her sandwich, chatted with a friend, and when time came to finish up her scrumptious, homemade peanut-butter-chocolate-chip/chocolate-chip cookie it was gone. She's certain it was stolen. I'm leaving room for eating without knowing or dropping it all together. It was devastating.

This experience, however, represents two victories to me.

First. I'm glad that she can write about what is bothering her. This, to me, is an invaluable skill. I can't tell you how many blog posts I have written and never posted because when I finished writing, I realized that I just needed to write it for ME, not for the world. Same with facebook posts and comments. I seriously erase half of what I write on facebook before I press enter. That's a skill I wish a lot more people could harness! I'm glad that Claire is brave enough to write when she cannot speak.

Second. This was easy to fix. In ten minutes she had cookie dough. Fifteen more minutes and she was dunking a warm cookie in cold milk. Problem solved. Mom's the greatest. And now with the new batch of cookies, there will be another cookie tomorrow! [Some for me too!]

I realize that all of her problems are not that easy to fix. She's already experienced quite a bit of friend drama in her 2-year stint in public school. In kindergarten she had a best friend, but there was a poor girl who always wanted to be the third wheel. Girl #3 wasn't nice in her antics (she had older sisters who no-doubt taught her some interesting tactics on friendship). This year, in a new school, while Claire has friends, she's yet to find anything as solid as she had last year when she knew that no matter what she would have Hannah there. I know this is common. It still hurts my heart a bit.

I know that there are bound to be many more days that she walks through our door in tears. And her problems will get more complex as time goes by. But today I am the hero. And know what? I'm going to bet that writing and warm chocolate chip cookies will probably solve problems in the future.


  1. School is killing ME way more than Sammy. His heartbreaks affect me deeply. It's my issue - to learn to navigate with him. And it's so difficult. Sorry about her cookie. Yay for mom's who can fix it!

  2. Hooray for mommy victory! In my opinion warm chocolate chip cookies still solve problems. :) I don't feel like I get nearly the same kind of drama with boys. So far we have had very few problems with Weston and other kids. He has a few close friends, but not a best friend. That seems to be fine with him. He's a very easy going kid so he gets sat by the difficult/annoying kids in class. He has complained about that a few times but we just always talk about being kind to people or ignoring them if they are bothering us and it seems to work out. I fear I am going to be blindsided when Talia starts school and suddenly has all this drama. I will be calling you for advice then and probably be baking a lot of cookies.

  3. Writing is Healing. Sometimes it's necessary -- even nice to see your feelings staring back at you on a piece of paper.

    Claire is lucky to have a good mama who doesn't hesitate to bake up a batch of cookies when needed!!