I woke up yesterday fired up. Fall - my favorite time of year!
I had scoped out an event at our local crafts store, Beverly Fabrics, and I knew Katie was going to love it. They were offering small craft projects of the fall variety with a hint of Halloween thrown in. This would be great.
Except it wasn't great.
Beverly's was doing a good job. Adults were decorated in costumes and silliness. People were milling around inside and out and the craft tables were set up with lots of little things to do. But Katie froze when she saw them.
Normally, I would have had to let her run ahead to get to all the stuff. Typically I have to find things to keep myself occupied while she managed "just one more." But not this time.
As we approached the store, she started to get slightly agitated. "Want to do a craft," I asked. "No," she quickly replied. So we went inside. "Look at all this great stuff," I said pointing out several, wonderful fall creations. "Yeah," she countered, barely moving. "Want me to make a scarf for you in school colors," I asked desperately, trying to find some way to connect. "No," she said, "I think we should go."
Hmm. This was totally weird.
We got back in the car and I stalled to think of something else we could do. I wanted to do anything other than go back home and stare at each other. I looked over and Katie was quietly crying. We sat together quietly. I realized this was one of those moments I have read about. A classic tween dilemma.
She really wanted to do the crafts, but she felt too old and horribly self conscious. She was caught in that awful place between being a kid and being a teen.
The rest of our day basically sucked. She was depressed and I eventually caught it. She still doesn't have any girl friends at school and I think not having anyone to talk to adds to the complexity.
So as the day ended, her feelings finally got crystallized in her head and we talked about what happened. She was so sad she missed the chance to do something she loved. But she also realized she didn't really have control over her conflicting feelings when the hit her at the store.
Gratefully, today is a much better day. Being a tween is very exciting, but sometimes, it just plain sucks.