Sometimes the real world just rises up and delivers a slap. It’s a tough way to learn lessons, I guess, but better to learn them when you’re young, rather than later. But it still hurts to see the pain in such an innocent face.
My daughter is a very trusting sort. Not gullible, but she can be a little too trusting at times.
And today, that trust backfired on her.
I won’t go into details, because, quite frankly, I don’t want to give a spoiled little brat (and yes, I’m holding back here) any more press than necessary, because I think she’d enjoy it too much.
Suffice to say that this same brat pulled similar crap on our daughter a year ago. And, to keep the peace for the last year of high school, my daughter was the bigger person, forgave her and gave her friendship to her again. My wife and I both said this isn’t someone you can trust, she’s going to do it to you again. We told her to be prepared.
But, the girl’s a master of manipulation. She made it through the majority of the year, kept herself in my daughter’s good graces long enough to even make it into the limo rented for the prom even though no one else wanted her there.
After the prom, my wife and I both took bets on how long it would take for her to kick my daughter to the curb now that she didn’t need her any more.
I think we both guessed about two weeks. We were out by exactly seven days. Three weeks to the day.
Don’t get the impression my daughter’s a doormat. Far from it. She’s walked away from two friends in the past few years because she didn’t like who they were becoming, or how she was being used. In both cases, however, circumstances changed and she was able to salvage the relationships. In these cases, both kids were good kids that had veered off and made some bad choices. In neither case did my wife or I expect them to shit on my daughter at a later date.
But this last one? Oh hell yeah. Saw that train a long way down the track.
Still, there’s no sense in saying, “I told you so,” and I didn’t. Instead, I was able to sit her down and talk to her about some realities of the world. How you can’t hold other people up to your standards because everyone has their own standards and some are higher than yours and many are lower. And that most people under the age of 25 believe the world revolves around them.
Now again, my kids aren’t perfect. Good Lord, far from it. They can be lazy, selfish and very self-centred at times. Then again, they can be so empathetic, so giving, so wonderful. And honestly, I’m ridiculously proud of the choices each of them make on a daily basis, and I know I don’t tell them that enough.
It’s hard being a parent, having learned all the hard things about life (well, okay, I’m still learning, actually), and knowing your kids still have to go through all of that themselves and that there’s no shortcuts. You can tell them all about this stuff…but still, they have to do it the hard way and learn it by suffering all the pain and suffering this world can throw up.
And you just pray they can come out the other side with as few scars as possible and the knowledge they need to not get hurt that much in future.
This world can be a hard place at times.