When I was my daughter’s age there were two things I wanted more than anything. A turtle and a paper route. What? A turtle seemed like a reasonable pet and a paper route seemed a decent way to earn enough money to play Pac-Man at the Pizza Pizza Restaurant up the street. You’ll never guess what kind of food they served.
My Mom wouldn’t let me have a turtle, but after many tears and tantrums, she caved into the paper route. It lasted about two months before I quit. But, I would have been so disappointed had I not had the experience.
My nine year old daughter has recently had her first run-in with real disappointment. A person we thought was very kind, has chosen to hurt someone we love dearly. I won’t get into the details, as juicy as they may be, because that is not the point. I will say there is hurt, there is back-stabbing, and there are attorneys.
But, the details don’t apply. My child was deceived, and that is all that matters.
This deception wasn’t by another child, but by an adult. Someone who made herself out to be sweet and caring. Someone who spoke to my daughter with affection and attentiveness. Someone who made herself out to be someone she obviously is not.
How do you explain that to a nine year old? How do you instill good morals when there are people in your life who have none? How do you teach your children to trust people, when those whom you’ve trusted are completely untrustworthy?
I really don’t know what to say to her. I don’t know how to explain that what she saw is not what she gets. That the person she thought she knew, was not that person at all.
My daughter doesn’t deserve that kind of disappointment. At an age when she’s still fascinated by rainbows, these are the true colors I’d rather she not see.