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.