Friends for Life

5 05 2010

I grew up an only child and although it was nice to bask in all of the attention, there was never anyone to take the heat for those sticky situations.  But most importantly, there was never anyone who incessantly had my back, without caution or debate.  The latter was one of the primary reasons I wanted two children, to give them a perpetual shadow of strength, a friend who indubitably would be there through it all.  I instead gave birth to two girls, less than two years apart, who often are at odds more than they are friends.  Of course, that really didn’t present itself until the oldest became a teenager, for as toddlers and even through the early parts of elementary school they were still fast friends.  So much so that people would comment to me how odd it was that as sisters they got on so well together.  But with age arrived resentments and the need for privacy, to the degree that we often have heard the remark You’re breathing my air! yelled from the remote areas of the house that we avoid at all costs.

Last Saturday morning I was in school.  My daughters were in bed.  My husband was at work.  And most of the world was focused on the relaxation that Saturday’s bring.  Most, but not all.  One individual in particular was not.  She felt it necessary to begin text messaging my youngest daughter’s phone at 5 am with texts to defend their one time mutual friend, who we’ve taken to referring to as Elizabeth here.  This child who for some reason forgot that Saturday’s are for sleeping, sent numerous texts, each trumping the prior in aggression and rage, until finally she chose to say she would be bloodying my youngest daughter up come Monday.  And at that, my youngest went to awaken her older sister and show her the messages.  And, as I had always hoped she someday might, my oldest daughter defended her baby sister, responding in turn with a threat of her own, to kick the texter’s butt.

And with that, the messages stopped.

We looked at the messages and replies and chastized my oldest for issuing threats and then contacted the local sheriff about the messages.  We didn’t recognize the phone number they had came from and the only recourse we would have would be to file a complaint of harassment against the caller.  We chose not to.  Kids will be kids.  Let the tides ebb and flow and it would likely fade out before Monday arrived.

Nonetheless, I included the situation (and the phone number of the texts) in a letter to Elizabeth’s guardian that detailed a great deal of my concerns.

Fast forward to today, Wednesday.

The early bird texter chose to forward on to Elizabeth the threat she received from my daughter.  She somehow forgot to mention that she had threatened my daughter and for some reason altered the message so it wouldn’t appear as a forward, but rather as a specific text from my daughter’s phone to that of Elizabeth’s.  And Elizabeth’s guardians brought this to the attention of the school.

And under the bullying laws, my daughter is now labeled a bully – complete with a write up and all.  Thankfully as it isn’t her norm and she has no disciplinary history or issues and as the principal and officer understand the full context of the situation – they’ve only left her file with a solitary write up of the situation.

I contemplated following petty suit with complaints of my own of the texts we received, as well as registering a written complaint about Elizabeth, and I shared these thoughts with the principal and staff and I was told I could.  And perhaps later I will regret the decision I made to not do so and to once more hope that the situation will lose its oxygen.

I do know though that I have no regrets of giving each of my children their own personal friend for life.

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