My heart has been very heavy the last 24 hours, after having a talk with Peyton. It began with us talking about her grades on her math quizzes the last nine weeks. She has overall good grades, but math is a challenge for her. She did not learn fundamental math skills at critical points of development, so it will be a longterm struggle and effort for her there.
We have spent lots of time with her to catch her up, hired tutors, and even put her in a private school three years ago to help her not be so distracted by so many kids in her class, like when she was in public school. It is still tough when you miss critical points of development in childhood. She will get through it, we will see to it, but it will take lots of extra work on her part too. I get angry at the ones responsible for that, but understanding development and behavior has helped me better control my anger and thought process there.
In talking to Peyton yesterday, we asked her what was causing the problem for her. We were trying to get to the root of things. I know the week before Christmas was super hard for her, as her mother sent her a Christmas card from jail, and promised her this would be the last Christmas without her. Peyton even mailed her a Christmas card back with some pictures of her, her Christmas tree in her room, our family tree, and her cat. Sadly, the card came back undeliverable, which prompted my husband to call the jail. We were informed her mother was released December 21st, and Peyton has never even heard from her since. It has really caused her sadness, which is interfering with her focus and concentration. The saddest part, all we can do is love her, which is enough, and get her through it by processing it, but the pain will be in her heart forever. To love her is the best thing anyone could do for her, for sure. Not only could her mother have made sure this was their last Christmas apart, she could have spent this past Christmas with her too. Peyton told me it made her feel really unimportant to her. Talk about heartbreak! Watching a child long for their mother! She loves me like a mom, and she loves my mom maternally, but imagine as a small girl losing your mom to drug addiction, and your father to suicide. She has changed so much since that time too. Imagine not being tucked in by your mother at bedtime. Can you? Imagine who you would be daily in that situation where it concerns feelings and worth. Could you function? Many do not.
As we were talking yesterday, understanding psychology and development, I asked her if she felt included at her school, and happy there. She thought for a minute, and then she whispered, “No, not really.” She said she did feel included during volleyball season, but otherwise, no she doesn’t. She told me that a few of her best friends in school get to hang out outside of school regularly, but she can never be included in that. She said her friends love her at school, and one particularly told her how her mother always says, “Maybe next time, but always lets me go to the other child’s house.” Then, Peyton dropped her head and said, “This doesn’t matter, but me and another child went to the water fountain the other day, and Mrs. XYZ spoke to me and asked me how I was doing, and she was nice, but other child she hugged, and she just kept on making over her.” She sat there for a minute, and then all of the sudden she began to cry. I told her it absolutely mattered, and shame on Mrs. XYZ for doing that to her, and making her feel left out. I got so mad, and began to cry myself. I had to go outside to calm down. I know absolutely what it feels like to be excluded, and it sucks!! I would NEVER make a child feel less than, no matter what, and shame on those who would. There is no way I would hug any child without hugging the other, when more than one is present. I demanded that Barry call his friend at the school and discuss this issue, as I was ready to pull Peyton out on Monday. This isn’t the first time with this nonsense, with this teacher and others, and this teacher is part of the “clique” there. We are not the only ones who have complained about this either, always the same ones excluding others. I do not want my child developing in that environment thinking that is good, or right behavior. I would rather take her to feed the homeless in Atlanta, and homeschool her. She would be a much better person in the end. Those are the values I teach and instill in my children, hence my very precious, and grown up, well balanced daughter.
We are having a meeting in the morning at the school to include this teacher. My heart is so very heavy for Peyton. We have loved on her so much more since yesterday. She needs lots of it right now! I’d love it if a decent non-smoking family would step up, and make her feel a part of their family. She has us, and four others who spend time with her and love her. Imagine that as a child. Only three biological family members, one grandparent, no cousins, two siblings in the world that she knows about she is disconnected from close to her age. Thank God for us for her, really! I do not mean that arrogantly either.
I have several questions for this teacher who did not hug my child too, respectfully. Do you know how much Peyton would benefit from your hug? Do you know when the last time her Momma hugged her was? Do you know the last time she saw her Momma? The third year of her dad’s suicide anniversary is only weeks away, do you know that? Peyton has two family members outside of our home. Do you know that? Exclusion of a child is not normal behavior for a child to understand. Peyton has very few people who make her feel important, or that spend any time with her whatsoever. She lost her best friend whom she misses terribly this past summer over nonsense, and how sad that you did not wrap your arms around her too. She has been there three years, it’s not like she’s a stranger there. Although, I welcome strangers too.
I do know this teacher has two wonderful children whom she adores. She does portray herself to be a Christian. Exclusion of others is not Christian behavior though. You cannot tell me God would be happy with her excluding Peyton, or any other child or person.
I have prayed for changed hearts for three years now. I have prayed for conviction of hearts, including my own. I am not looking for friendships, nor to educate people in social psychology. I am looking to fulfill my child’s need of what is healthy for optimum development at a critical time in her life, and a big part of that is to provide her with healthy social skills. Cliques and exclusions are not healthy, good traits I want my child to learn or be among. I will work hard to stop this at the school we love, and want to stay at, but I will not tolerate turning a blind eye to mistreating others, or treating others better for any reason, period.
I am thankful for the Headmaster at Peyton’s school, both of them. They both seem to be Christian family men, who do what is right. I have only met one of their wives, who used to teach Peyton, who is precious and made me feel very included there. If only the women could be more like the men, it would be so nice. The men don’t have issues or cliques. It’s crazy how that is with women, hence my being a loner. I am a loner by choice. I know what to expect there, and it’s quite peaceful. I cannot turn a blind eye to mistreating others either, and that includes excluding anyone. Therefore, I could not be friends with those who do. My child is as important to me as your child. Do not treat them any differently than you would want your child treated. My niece thrives with love, as all children do. My brother lacked feeling loved as a child and adult. He died by suicide 2/10/14, with a very beat down and broken heart and spirit. Adults did not protect him. His father abused him horribly! That’s the end result. Peyton is not plagued because she doesn’t live with her mom and dad due to drug addiction and suicide, nor by her aunt’s very public writing. She is one of the best kids you could ever hope for your child to befriend, and it begins with her precious heart and treatment of others, and next with her desire to do what is right.
I like what Mayor Kasim Reed said recently, “If you have the opportunity to make a difference, you are obligated to do so.” This absolutely stands where children are concerned, and especially as a teacher and Christian!