When I’m driving around a carpool of screaming ten-year-old girls, it’s sometimes hard not to wanna drive the car straight into Lake Michigan. Seriously, these girls are capable of some severe damage to one’s hearing (not to mention one’s sanity). However, one of the benefits of driving them around is that I get to eavesdrop on their conversations. And as a mom, I see that as my golden opportunity to find out what’s really going on inside those little pre-pubescent minds of theirs.
Just a few weeks ago, I was schlepping the crew home from soccer practice when I overheard a discussion about whether or not they wanted to be popular in school. Now this totally threw me for a loop because I’ve never heard my daughter even use the word “popular” in her vocabulary. I mean, what does an almost fifth grader know about popularity anyway??!! My stomach sank, but my ears perked up as I strained to make out each and every word they were saying.
One of the girls said she wanted to be in the popular crowd because they’re the ones who get to have all the fun. Another girl said she wanted to be in the unpopular crowd because she didn’t want to have to deal with all the constant invitations to things. And yet another girl said she wanted to be in both groups so she could pick and choose who she wanted to hang out with. I held my breath as I waited for my little social butterfly to weigh in on the matter.
After listening to all the differing opinions, my daughter proudly announced that she wanted to be in her OWN group. That’s right, her OWN group. Can you believe it??!! Neither could I! I was so proud that I wanted to jump into the back seat and high-five her, but I was driving and would’ve really wrecked into Lake Michigan then. So I just smiled all the way home and silently patted myself on the back — cause if my girl can be brave enough to think for herself like that, well then I guess I haven’t screwed up this parenting thing too badly after all….