I think I lived a fairly normal childhood. While I had a propensity for remaining indoors to play, I also did bowling and baseball for as long as I can remember. I had very few neighborhood friends, owing primarily to the makeup of the neighborhood by the time my parents finally got around to having me, I think, but that didn’t seem to inhibit my social growth (at least, not in my eyes then, nor upon reflection tonight).
I think that’s what makes Emma’s struggles so baffling to me. I’ve been as keen as I can be to offer her every opportunity I had and then some, and still something seems off. Some of it, I know, is her. I won’t deny THAT bit. There always seems, though, like there’s something amiss with the rest of the world as well. Emma, given to drama as she can be, often thinks the world is out to get her, and the more time wears on, the more I think it’s not just all in her head.
I can’t remember — ever — fighting with my friends (at least, not the people I called “friends”; there are some folks that were more than passing acquaintances that made it onto my pre-teen list). I certainly don’t remember having repeated disagreements that led to repeated dissolutions of the same friendship, over and over again. Is this a function of female-to-female friendships? Just Emma? Did everyone else go through this growing up? Am I just quirky (or AWESOME?) enough that I sat in the middle of my web, immune to this common issue? Seriously, I want to know. As it stands, I watch my daughter struggle to keep even one friend, and I worry, because I completely lack a base from which to operate here, and I don’t know if it’s because I had a charmed life or if it’s because Emma’s is particularly uncharmed.