It started about a month ago. I was blindly taking Abby to preschool every other morning thinking all was well with the world. Little did I know a disease was casting it's shadow on her school days. Every child encounters them, that dreadful classmate. The one who makes others miserable to feel the gain of victory. Abby's is London. I was enlightened one Friday afternoon when I arrived to pick Abby up; London was complaining that Abby hit her. It turns out Abby had indeed hit this girl because she would not play with Abby. No doubt Abby just didn't understand why. We said our apologies, but the conversation I had with Abby's teacher stung; Abby wants to play with London, but London wants nothing to do with Abby. And honestly, it bothers me a thousand times more than it bothers Abby.
The usual thoughts ran through my head. Why doesn't she want to play with Abby? Is Abby unsociable? Is Abby not pleasant to be around at school? Is Abby mean to the other kids? Is Abby an outcast?
When I presented the situation to Geoff that evening I didn't need to get far into the story to figure out what was really going on. In fact, I needed to say just one word, London.
About five and a half years ago Geoff and I had lunch with a woman who had just arrived at Hanscom AFB. Geoff was her sponsor, so we took her out to get to know her and get her acquainted with the base. That fall she gave birth to a baby girl. You guessed it, London. She and Geoff worked together for six more months, London's family even passed outgrown diapers our way when our baby girl arrived. But soon it was time to part ways. We were off to Florida when Abby was just three months old; our babies had never met.
But in this small world of the Air Force, they did meet up, at a little preschool in Ohio. In a class of just fourteen kids, our girls are together. Ughhh.
Since that heartbreaking afternoon I have been relieved by several things. First, that the apple does not fall far from the tree. Second, that this was bound to happen to Abby at some point in her career as a student, it was just happening a little earlier than I'd expected. Third, that Abby isn't the one mistreating her classmates, at least not to my knowledge. And fourth, and in Abby's own words, "London is nasty to the other kids." Ahhh, it's not just Abby!
As far as I know London has no idea of the bridge that links her to Abby, and I'm guessing, neither do her parents. Though Parents' Night at their school is coming up this week. It should be interesting.
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- Fairborn, Ohio, United States
- I'm a teacher by trade, writer at heart & mom in every sense of my being. I never considered writing as a profession, but after I got married and began moving around the country, I began sharing my adventures, misadventures & updates through a sort of e-mail newsletter. I found a true passion in unconventional story-telling that has followed me into motherhood.