Earlier today I happened across the blog of a “friend.” She’s only a “friend” because I’ve actually never met her. . .only know her through her blog. . .but she was asking for advice regarding her daughter. The daughter is a little on the larger size, although she has a very tall daddy, and the pediatrician thinks there is nothing to worry about. Problem is that she is having trouble finding age appropriate clothing for her–the daughter is 8–and don’t we ALL have trouble finding age appropriate clothing for any girl who is past a 5T or a 6x???? I do. She also mentioned that the daughter has already come home crying because other girls have called her fat. So I commented the following on her blog. . .

Speaking from the body of a big girl (always have been) who could never fit into the “Luv it” jeans or the latest “Esprit” fashion of the day. . .I think what you’ve been saying is fine. . .and I would go really big on the comfort issue. As in, “This style doesn’t fit really well. When things don’t fit, after about 30 minutes you just start to feel uncomfortable. That’s why there are so many styles of clothes–some fit–some don’t.”I know you want to protect her–and you have already been privy to the fact that you can’t. So just keep on doing what you’re doing–loving her, supporting her, and trying to find the cutest clothes possible without making her feel out of style or out of place. I teach in a Jr. High school, and I see girlies every day who try to squish themselves into clothing that is way too small–not flattering. Yes, they are wearing what everyone else wears, but I know they feel rotten. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could make everyone be sweet and kind and happy with themselves and everyone around them? Until that time–which I pretty much think will be in heaven–we can only raise our daughters to be that way as much as possible. Prayers for you and your girl.

I had JUST hit submit, when I realized that this goes along perfectly with something that happened to Victoria this week. So I commented AGAIN. . .

Two more cents here.
I have given birth to a daughter with her daddy’s genes. She is lithe and thin and willowy and has blue eyes and long blond hair to boot.
One would think she has it made, but she was in tears on Tues. after school because she couldn’t “jump and twist” as high as Samantha. Therefore Samantha and her cronies had written her name on the “bad list” and made her stand on the “bad side.”
I have no clue what Samantha looks like–she could be 7 year old super-model thin or as big as the broad side of a barn but have great jumping abilities. . .and she made my gorgeous, thin, can-wear-whatever-she-wants baby cry.
So what I told Victoria was this.

“When Mommy was a little girl there were some girls who were very mean to her. They would never let her play with them at recess, and whenever I would try to play with them, they would grab each other’s hands and sing

‘Tick-tock, the game is locked. Nobody else can play. Hurray!’

Mommy would cry and cry and she got her feelings hurt a lot. But you know what? Now at least two of those girls are grown ladies like Mommy, and I don’t think they are very happy. I think they were unhappy little girls and are unhappy big ladies. They haven’t ever been happy with themselves, and so they will never be happy with anyone else. You will always be happy, because you love everybody. You don’t make fun of people, and you want everyone to play and have a good time no matter what they can or can’t do. You love everyone just like God wants you to, and so even though those girls can hurt your feelings, they can never make you unhappy because Jesus lives in your heart.”

Now that might have gone straight over her head. And some of it did. But she does know two things, no one can truly take her happiness away, and her mommy has felt the same way at times and has lived through to the other side.
That was on Tues. On Wed. evening, we were sitting around after dinner when Victoria came up to me and said,

“Mommy. I made up a new song.” I was a bit confused at first, then she said, “You know how those girls used to sing that mean song to you? Well, I made up a NEW song. ‘Tick-tock, the game’s unlocked. Everybody can play. Hurray!’ ”

I was speechless. All I could do was hug her and hug her and hug her. She is at the very beginning of her journey in this world. And she is at the very beginning of all the pain that is here as well. But she already has a valuable little lesson stored away in her heart. And if that is the best I can do for her, then maybe she will be okay after all.

I say all of that to say this. . .love your girls–not that you don’t–but love ’em extra. Let them know that you have felt the exact same way they feel. Victoria thinks I’m the perfect mommy (her words), and while that makes me feel wonderful, I am always careful to tell her that I’m actually NOT the perfect mommy, but I try my best. And she will never be perfect either, but she can always try her best to do what God wants her to do.

I see sweet girls and mean girls and lonely girls and nice girls and pretty girls and not so pretty girls and insecure girls and confident girls every day–jr. high girls–and sometimes they are one and the same. The only thing for sure is that EVERY girl is complicated and multi-layered and EVERY girl is vulnerable. So if there is one living in your house, take extra care. And if there’s not one living in your house, find one to love, because they need all of that they can get.


4 thoughts on “Girls

  1. Roxanne, as someone who lived on the “things others wore didn’t fit” side of life, I so appreciate what you told your blog friend. Victoria is very blessed to have you for her mom, but your students are blessed to have you as well.


  2. I am honored to be a “friend” even if it is in the blogging world! 🙂 If you make it to Abilene we can meet for coffee.

    Thanks for the advice to. From 3rd grade to 6th grade I was a chubby little kid… In 6th grade I grew taller and grew boobs! I explained all of that to Meg and she was all kinds of excited. (I think I need prayers for that now!) Anyway, it was nice to have a way to explain to her what I mean.

  3. I’ve been thinking about this since last night when I first read it. More than anything, I think, girls (whether big or lithe) need to know that they are loved no matter what and that they are valued not for what is on the outside, but what is on the inside.

    Victoria’s new words to that old taunting song not only shows she’s abundantly creative, but also has a heart filled to the brim with love!

    “even though they can hurt your feelings, they can’t make you unhappy” Wow! You are the best Mommy in the world 🙂

  4. Roxanne, I loved your note. I was a petite, thin, little girl in school. Some kids thought it funny to call me “bones”. I use to come home crying because of it. So you are right, it really doesn’t matter what size you are or what you look like, someone will always feel they need to chastise you to make themselves feel more powerful.

    I only have a son, and they too are candidates of low self-esteem. I tell my son when he is confused by unkindly people (even at the age of 21), that we must always understand that we do not know what those people’s world is like or if they are coming from a loving family situation, and that when someone is unkind to you it is not about you but how others see the world and themselves in that world.

    You have been a remarkable roll model to your children; Victoria verifies this in her beautiful made up song.

    How blessed we are to be the parents of such angels.


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