On Monday I got a call from my friend Elaine.* She had been driving down a street in our neighborhood when she saw a bit of an altercation between Livi and Amy, one of Livi’s friends.
As a side note, Livi has told me on more than one occasion that Amy can be a little mean, even to Ruth, Amy’s twin sister. Livi hasn’t wanted to play there for a while. Go figure.
On this particular day, Livi had been playing at Amy’s house when the girls decided to walk a couple houses down to play with a mutual friend. (Yes, I am super lucky we have so many playmates for Livi. It’s pretty awesome really.) Apparently Amy didn’t want Livi to play with this friend, and when Elaine drove up, she saw Amy grab Livi by both arms and shake her pretty hard…with a bit of yelling thrown in for good measure.
To Ruth’s credit, she did her best to tell her sister to stop but she failed in her attempts. The person who stopped Amy in her tracks was Elaine. (Adults will do that to four-year-olds, it’s true.) She told Amy—in no uncertain terms—to back off. Then, when Elaine was sure Livi wasn’t too traumatized to walk home, she made sure my daughter got home safely where her big sister was there to dry her tears.
There were a lot of tears.
After Elaine called, I felt angry and sad and helpless all at the same time.
I’m pretty sure if you found “Mother Bear Syndrome” on Wikipedia, the description of this all-too-common condition would include “prone to feelings of anger mixed with sadness, helplessness, protectiveness and a deep sense of loyalty; oh, and fierce irrationality at times too.”
But I was so very, very glad Elaine stepped in when I could not. I’m sure the situation would’ve worked itself out as it often does with four-year-old girls, but knowing my friend helped Livi in her small moment of need meant a lot to me.
Heaven knows I’d have done the same.
I know it’s not the last time one of Livi’s friends will make her cry, but if I’m not there when the tears are streaming down her face, I sure as heck hope someone from my village is.
* All names except Livi’s have been changed to protect the innocent (and the guilty).
P.S. I know Livi isn’t perfect; she’s hurt a friend’s feelings on more than one occasion. On the other hand, I’m pretty sure she’s never treated a friend (her brother doesn’t count, right?) like Amy did. But if she did, I’d sure as heck want to know about it. That is NOT allowed. EVER.
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