Monday, February 2, 2009

She's All That

Our son and DIL recently bought their first house and spent most of Christmas moving in. This will be the fifth move for them since they got married, and the third move for Arianna, their daughter. While Arianna was simply thrilled to be moving out of the apartment and into a house with a yard and a room bigger than a breadbox, it wasn't without its turmoil. First there was the clearing out. She had to go through her things and learn to discard things that while important to her heart, were definitely outgrown. There was one box for the attic, another box for the Goodwill, and a box for just plain trash. It was explained that if it only has three wheels, it has to go. If it is missing any major part (like a battery cover...duct tape does not count as a cover) it has to go. If it has an odd odor because it's been left out in the rain one time to many, it has to go. Anna said it seemed everytime the "got to go " box got full, it would mysteriously lose about half its contents when her back was turned. Before it was over Arianna was banished to Aunt Debra's so that the job of seek and discard could go on unabated.

So, the move was accomplished by the time school had closed for the Christmas break and Arianna had said goodby to all her school friends. She would be starting a new school in her new neighborhood when the break was over. The good thing was her cousin Zach would be in her school, though not in her same grade. The bad thing was this was her third "new school" and she told me she was going to miss her friends. I reassured her that she would be making new friends, and that now she would have friends that she could carry with her through adulthood. I knew what she meant, having been "the new girl" so many times myself. And of course her daddy knew the feeling...military kids learn to adjust much earlier than regular kids. (And here you were thinking all kids were regular.) Being the "new kid in school" can be a daunting experience. You go in a stranger amongst kids who have gone thru school together since nursery school, cliques have already been formed and it's hard to break into the inner circle. I knew what Arianna was about to go through, but I knew too that she's a self confidant little girl who could work through the difficulties.

Arianna called us Friday night. She was at her Aunt Debra's and said she was feeling lonely for her Grandpa (no, my feelings were not hurt) and wanted to talk to him. I asked her why she was at Aunt Debra's and she told me that her Mom and Dad were having Date Night. I had to laugh...Mac and I have Date Night every Friday, too. So I put Mac on and he chatted with her for a bit and then he put me back on with her. I asked how school was going and she told me fine. She began to tell me about this "mean girl" in her class. She said this girl wouldn't talk to her, openly snubbed her and had told her that she (Arianna) thought she was "all that". I began to laugh and told Arianna, "well, you are all that, so what seems to be her problem?" She asked me what I meant, and I told her that in case she didn't know it she was smart as all get out, pretty as doll and had a great personality to boot. "You're all that! And apparently she knows it, and she's jealous of it. So, don't worry about what she has to say, you just keep on being you. Don't change just because someone says something about you that's unfair. Next time tell her, yeah, I am all that. Smile and walk away. " It may not make her a pile of friends, but it'll nip peer pressure in the bud if she learns that lesson early.


59 comments:

Terri and Bob said...

Evidently that little girl in her class does not know how to make friends. She needs some character education! We have people at our school who have been new before who help the students transition into our building. Those are usually kids from the same grade level and hopefully from the same class. You tell her she is all that and to be proud of it!

Vee said...

What a doll! (Yes, it must be Grandmother Day in Blogdom. It's a wonder that we got the memo!) Well, for your grand-girlie's sake, I hope that she is able to break in to a great group of friends soon. It's not easy being the new kid. Although I never had that experience, I certainly helped a lot of kids "enter in" and I hope that her teacher is being a big help to her, too.

Aww, that's so cute that she wanted to talk to her grandfather. Wonder what he might've said that helped her out.

Oh, yes, of course I allowed John up on the roof. He has all the best ladders, after all. I don't think he'd take too kindly to my telling him that he had to stay down. He wouldn't even stay off the roof in the middle of an icestorm in the middle of the night. He's definitely incorrigible.

Have a great day, Sandi!

Jeni said...

ALL kids should be taught that -that they are "ALL THAT!" How far would that go to aiding and abetting in the self-esteem department if we all grew up hearing that and learning to believe it, to believe in our selves from early on!
Loved this post, Sandi. You're the best!

Sally said...

You're just the best grandma; I know between you and Mac you set her mind at ease.

I'm sitting here remembering all the different schools we had to go to due to Dad's service. It isn't easy, but it won't take long for Ariana - after all she IS "all that, and more!" Before long, she'll be telling you how much fun and how many friends she's made! :)

Moannie said...

I just don't understand the mentality. Why do kids want to hurt or upset other kids? Probably because she knew she herself was not 'all that' and was threatened by this sweet, pretty, smiling and friendly new girl.

TheWritersPorch said...

Sandi........How sweet! She is all that! You must continue to do your job in keeping her informed that she is all that! I too had my share of being the new girl because of my father being in the Music business,Shreveport, Nashville and several in Hattiesburg.The great thing is " kids really do adjust quick!

~Virginia~ said...

if only kids knew how much their words affect others. good thing she has someone like you in her life!

thanks for stopping by the other day! here from david's page.

Mary Isabella and Kiley too! said...

I know she will be fine with Grandparents like you two!!! You are a stabling force in her lives. Very cute pictures!!.. Have the best week ever...m..

windycorner said...

Words of wisdom! Arianna is a lucky (as well as brilliant and beautiful) girl to have such a warm, supportive family. There are always going to be "mean girls" even when we are adults so learning to deal with them early is an important lesson.
Holley

Pam said...

What a wonderful grandma you are and what excellent advice! that picture of her is just too cute.

P.S. Thanks for your kind words about my George. He's getting lots of love.

Love Bears All Things said...

Honey Bear and I have Friday night date night, too.

I remember so well being the new kid in school. I think it is harder for some than others. The Princess seems to make friends easily but the Wonder Boy is just a little bit shy or uncomfortable in new situations.
I like that she called and wanted to talk to her grandfather.
Mama Bear

Akelamalu said...

You gave Arianna great advice there Sandi. :)

Donna said...

Hahahaaa....You're All That as well...and smart as All get out...too!!! I think she'll always remember your encouraging words!!!
Happy night sweetie!hughugs

Maggie May said...

Wonderful advice you gave Arianna. It is so annoying to have other pupils feel they can only look big if they put some one down. She will learn how to defend herself.
My heart goes out to her.

Dr.John said...

Glad the move is over and the grand daughter is settling in to the newchool. Kids like adults come in all kinds. Some seem to be born mean and enjoy hurting others. Some are afraid and push others away. Some try to be nice. It is a mixed world.

RBK's Realm said...

What a precious little girl and so lucky to have that amazing bond with her grandparents. This is the part that an immigrant whose home is in two lands misses. My son never got to know his amazing grandparents other than a couple of hectic visits to Delhi during the Holidays as a child, so I love reading about family bonds such as yours.

On a different note, I think the principle of discarding stuff that has outgrown its utility is so valuable even on a philosophical basis.

And little Arianna will grow up to be one assured little girl with all the love surrounding her.

Lee said...

You said just the right thing, Sandi! Wish I'd had a grandma as helpful as you when I was going through those tough years. Arianna is indeed a beautiful girl and has a great spirit about her. She will go far!

Hugs!
Lee

CrazyCath said...

Aaah Sandi you are a champion for your granddaughter. What excellent advice you gave her. I will remember that for my son. Thank you.

Great post.

Penny @ The Comforts of Home/Lavender Hill Studio said...

The perfect answer! It is a shame that young girls can be so mean. I know that Arianna will make new friends soon.

Gill - That British Woman said...

what a lovely grandma you are.......

Gill in Canada

Deb said...

You are a wise grammie and an excellent role model for your grandaughter. It certainly can be difficult being the new kid but life should settle down soon for her. Sending happy wishes to her!

Carol said...

I am pleased that she is, all that, just what we want them to be.
Guy thinks he is, all that, played my daughter up rotton while I have been away.
I have some great new photos of him, rollicking in the snow. He was very careful when he first stepped out into it as it came upto his shoulders!
Carol xxx

SandyCarlson said...

I have had a similar conversation with my daughter about the girls who would drag her down so that they can feel better. This is her introduction to jealous because her best friends (boy cousins) don't pull those moves.

So cool that you assured your granddaughter that the other girld had good reason (and good sense!) to be jealous. Such an ugly, destructive emotion.

I tell my daughter at times like that to pull out a book and read. Don't stop for nonsense.

You are very wonderful, grandma.

Tara said...

What great advice, teaching her to be her own strong gal (gee, who could she be like??)

:0)
Tara

Veggie Mom said...

How cute are those kids? Glad you gave your grandbaby some Pop'rs...which flavor does she prefer?

Butterfly Gardener said...

You have all the right words at the right time. I'm so glad everyone welcomed me into bloglad and has been friendly with me. I was afraid noone would visit my blog when I created it.

ancient one said...

Arianna is all that and more. She sure is a pretty child.

tlc illustration said...

Ah, good grandma wisdom! :-)

ArneA said...

Thanks for visiting my blog

i beati said...

Good for you girl- she's very astute isn't she??and cute!!!

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Hello Sandi. I think she must feel the world had dropped out. Poor child. But we have to learn to do these unpleasant things too unfortunately. You have a lovely blog Sandi with many interesting post. Thanks for visiting mine too.

Shrinky said...

Well Sandi, according to that gorgeous picture there, seems like you are right, she really IS all that, anyway. But what a wise gran she has, turning what she first saw as a slight into a firm positive.

In her previous school, my youngest was the focus of a bully. Nothing tears your heart out so much as having to stand back and watch your precious child suffer. The little lad was the youngest of five, none of which had the same father, and his mother tended to be out of an evening leaving her brood to raise themselves. I knew because I also volunteered at the school and had a little first hand knowledge.

In desperation, against my youngerst's wishes - I invited him over for "tea" (er, perhaps you might call it supper?) This soon fell into a regular weekly habit.

Shortly, the bullying ceased. Sadly, he then went on to beat up any kid who so much as looked at my youngest in the wrong way.. happy days, eh? Sigh.

joan said...

What a great Grandma she has. You were there for her and also built her self confidence back up which that girl try to knock down. I hate that kind of stuff in schools. I am sure she will make all kind of friends soon. Hope you are doing good Sandi!

cheshire wife said...

What a lovely grand daughter you have! She seems to have an old head on young shoulders and should go far.

Lynn@ The Vintage Nest said...

Sandi, Are you aware of the fact that you are "all that". :) Well you are! Hugs, Lynn

Jamie Dawn said...

What great looking kids!!!!

Arianna sounds like such a treasure. She surely IS all that and a box of chocolates!!
She will adjust well, and she'll get to make long lasting friends.
You're a terrific grandma. I think you're ALL THAT too, also, as well.
I hope they really enjoy their new house.

:-)

jazzi said...

Moving is always an adventure! I'm sure she'll do well, and before long, she'll be a part of the class. I came from a moving family, myself. It always worked out eventually.

CatHerder said...

awww. when we moved when the kids were little my eldest went through a rough patch making friends..he is a senior now, and SO OUTGOING and friendly, and is liked by just about every "clique" in school even though he doesnt hang out with them...im sure things will get better for her..she is so cute!

bfs ~ "Mimi" said...

There's been some research done on the importance of grandparents in the lives of their grandchildren.

Your commentary tonight confirms that. Your advice was excellent!

Sweetie said...

From looking at the photo, I too would say that Arianna is "all that." Kids can sometimes be so cruel and what you told Arianna will have a lasting impression on her. You said all of the right things.
Hugs,
Sweetie

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

Sandi - your grand-daughter is beautiful and definitely "all that". I do wish children wouldn't be unkind to one another. Obviously that little girl is lacking confidence and probably needs a caring grandmother like you. Glad Arianna has you to talk to and to help keep her buoyed up. A x

Casdok said...

Excellent advice from a wonderful Grandma!

Jules~ said...

Hi there! I am back online now and I was anxious to head on over for a virtual visit with you today.

I too was an MK and had to learn early how to fit into the unique walls of the DOD schools. Kids can be ever so cruel. I am laughing at the truth you told yuor little granddaughter. What words of wisdom you gave. Bravo!

Pam said...

P.S. I left you an award on my blog. =)

Pat@Back Porch Musings said...

You are a wise and wonderful G'ma and Arianna is an amazing child!

Jodie Adams said...

I love it! I hope she makes a lot of new friends other "all that" types. She seems like a sweetheart. How lucky you are to have such a good relationship with her. I had one with my mother's mom like that and it was priceless.

Sorry I have been MIA, the monkey is keeping me extra busy these days! :) HUGS!

bj said...

Hi, Sandi, my friend...
You are such a sweet grandma...
Hope all things are good in your world...
xo bj

Cheffie-Mom said...

You go grandma! Great advice!

imbeingheldhostage said...

Oh how sweet is that, that she calls you when she needs to talk! You must rawk as a grandma (and grandpa) :-)

Denise said...

A grandmother influence is priceless... She is all that and with you to provide support her life will be richer.......... My life is so much more because of my grandmother! She taught me everything about life and it remains with me today......... Great story!

Mockingbird Hill said...

Good Job! A bit of self confidence/assurance goes a long way...been there and speak from experience (even though it was eons ago)

Hope you are doing well, dear Sandi... :)

Vee said...

Where have you been? Having fun I hope and not gone for any other reason...

Here to pop out your playlist as I need something peppy to keep me going for the afternoon.

Susie Q said...

A Grandmother's influence is the best...especially when that grandmother is YOU! Your sweet girl is perfect and so special, just like YOU!

I miss you..hope all is well? Youhave been away from the blog and I do hope it is for something good...

Just wanted to say hello, I am thinking about you and Happy Valentine's Day!

Love,
Sue

Brett said...

To mark the last post of my year long blog a quick thank you for following it.

Anna said...

Sandi, good advice: 'Next time tell her, yeah, I am all that. Smile and walk away.'. BTW I hate moves...that is never really moved around, lol. Anna :)

Lavinia said...

Couple of cuties. Good advice you gave her....

Jeff W Bach said...

I know the moving game all too well. My dad promoted about every five years (State of CA employee) and off we'd go to another city.

Mockingbird Hill said...

Hey there Sandi & Mac...

Happy Valentine's Day!!

Cassie

monart said...

Because of LOVE> Okay so, you've heard from 58 encouragers, who agree, your Grand Daughter is "all that". I would like to add the 59th comment that it is no doubt because of a "little" of your loving words. And one Grand Mother to another; your sweet Love, 'period'.
If you read my Blog you will find out I was an Airforce "brat". I once thought it wasn't a good thing; now I KNOW that it was good, and the goodness was because of constant, Mother, Father, and Grandparents Love. I knew no matter what I faced as "the new girl" I had arms to hold me and words that told me, " I was all that, to them and to Jesus, and always would be". One other lesson, that I passed on to my 3 children; as simple as it may be; its also biblical {Proverbs 25:22-For you will heap burning coals on his head, In this way you will make him feel guilty and ashamed, and the LORD will reward you.}, My Mother always said it this way, "kill them with kindness", a funny way to put it, but, she explained that not all children had what I had, and that was a most loving home. And God doesn't look at what we go through {all go through something hard}, He looks at how you respond to what you go through. And killing them with kindness (smile at them when their mean) will turn them over to the Lord, and the Lord will "heap hot coals on their heads (make them feel guilty)". I passed this lesson along to my Children, and now grownups, they say it was the best lesson and principal to remember today in this world sometimes full of hate. I can see Arianna has a kind face, thats why shes "ALL THAT".
Much love
mona