Big Girls Don’t Cry…But Little Girls Do

Some of the kids, like Mary Ann, stand next to me, then bang their head into me before asking whatever question is on their mind. It’s their way of getting my attention. A simple, “Mr. Robert?” would work just as well, but I guess it’s not as fun that way. Mary Ann also likes to hug me from behind, or hug me and face-plant into my stomach.

Mary Ann is a really nice girl. I think she’s a bit more mature than the average 2nd grader. But for some reason I frequently find Mary Ann and Michelle butting heads. They tend to disagree and have conflicting ideas and opinions, different ways of doing things. (They also happen to be the same height. They’re the two shortest kids in the 2nd grade. That doesn’t have anything to do with anything, but I thought I’d just throw that in there.) Michelle, on the other hand, is also a very nice girl, but being one of the youngest kids in the 2nd grade (she’s young enough to be a 1st grader) she’s one of the more immature of the bunch.

Mary Ann is an only child. I find that only children and oldest children tend to struggle with pride. So when Michelle sees things a different way from Mary Ann, it’s sometimes difficult for her to comprehend.

One day they were playing jump rope, and for whatever reason, Mary Ann and Michelle just weren’t seeing eye to eye. (Which is funny, because they’re both the same height, so seeing eye to eye should be no problem for them. Haha. I know. Bad joke.) Mary Ann was doing her best to be patient and to try and work things out with Michelle, but they just couldn’t seem to get on the same page. Finally her frustrations got to her, and she put her face in her hands and walked to a corner, crying silently.

“Uh oh,” I thought. Some of the kids make a big show of crying, and I don’t like that. I can tell when they’re crying just for the attention. And then there are kids like Mary Ann who try their best not to cry when their feelings are hurt. But sometimes they just can’t help it.

I went over to Mary Ann to try to console her.

“Are you okay?” I asked. But she wasn’t responding.

To my surprise, Michelle came over to try and cheer her up. They had been arguing just a moment before, and now she had done a complete 180, and seemed to have a lot of compassion for her classmate, saying that they could do things Mary Ann’s way. But Mary Ann just kept her face in her hands, walking away not because she was trying to avoid Michelle, but because she was trying to stop crying.

“Just give her some time,” I said to Michelle.

A few moments later, after she regained her composure, Mary Ann was back playing as if nothing had happened, and the two girls got along.

2nd Grade – The age where kids might argue and bicker, but they’ll put it behind them at a moments notice and seek reconciliation, especially when they can see that their friend’s feelings have been hurt. And they’re all friends. No cliques here. (Well, the boys are friends with the boys, and the girls are friends with the girls. Boys and girls aren’t friends. Not at this age.)

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