SITTING ALONE AT THE LUNCH TABLE

A few days back, I put out a post about a particularly sad morning I had. My daughter who is 9, extremely outgoing and very vibrant, was sitting in a very nervous state at the breakfast table which is rare. She's a super confident kid but she was off and I asked what was wrong. She was so worried about school that day because she didn't think she was going to have anyone to sit with at lunch. She usually sits with one of her best friends and 2 other girls, and for some reason none of them were going to be there that day. Moving tables isn't permitted so after I went that route on suggestions, I sat with her, held her hand and told her it was going to be OK. First, she always had the option to slide down to the other side and maybe start chatting with people she doesn't normally get to eat with, who are assigned to her table.  Or, she could always bring a book or a craft and do that while she ate.  When she left, I didn't know what she had decided on, she still seemed nervous, and I broke down and cried. All morning- in the kitchen cleaning up, while working, in between phone calls and such.

Why? Because I remember how that felt back in school.  And I know how it feels now- I have to attend a ton of events, conferences, etc and I'm fine sitting next to a stranger and striking up a conversation (in fact I'm usually the one who is hyper-conscious of people sitting alone and I try to be the person that won't let that happen) but there's always that little inner child voice that remembers those days and how it feels to wonder if anyone will speak to you.

She was fine fortunately, handled it like a pro- better than I probably would have and I worried over nothing that day but it was real because this happens. And it likely will happen to her again, and all of our kids at some point. It's something we have to be so conscious of...remembering that kids go through this daily. We may not know that there are days that there wasn't anyone that played with them that day at recess, or that they weren't picked first (or even 10th) for a gym class team, or that nobody wanted to partner with them for a project so its our job to continue to reinforce that A) when you like yourself and are confident, you are never alone and B) when you see someone struggling, give them a hand and say hello. 

Being a mom is hard, being a working mom is harder but it makes us stronger and by nature, our children as well.  But, there are those moments that knock us off kilter.  We're here to support you with anything, don't forget that.