On standing up for yourself.

Dear Cameron, on standing up for yourself.

You came home today hurt. You’d fought with a friend. It had not been pleasant, and your little heart was hurting. My mild and mannered child, distraught over this unpleasant interaction.

We lay on the floor and talked it through, like we do our every day. You cried and told me how sad you were, and I held you, wishing I could make the whole world go away and play nicely.

You’re five, nearly six, yet, your tenacity and personality is already well-formed and rounded off with a large serving of independence. You’ve had much change to adjust to, and you’ve rolled with it as we’ve moved homes, changed schools, changed routines and started some things afresh. Of all the things I am about you, my love and pride know no boundaries.

Fighting with people you care about is heart-wrenching. Whilst this interaction, in the bigger picture of life, is minute and will be forgotten soon enough, to you…to you it is the world today.

My heart ached for you, in ways that both resonated and rushed to protect. I’ve been that kid, Cam. I was that kid growing up, most of the way through and for a long while after. I’ve felt that hurt and I got through it eventually. It made me stronger. It enabled me to take on life’s challenges and to laugh off the jibing of people. Thankfully, nowadays, none of them matter to me. One day, this won’t matter to you either. That I can absolutely promise you.

But, for now, I want to applaud you, my brave little girl. You told me your story, cried and we went through the steps of what one is supposed to do when a friend is mean to you. I’m satisfied that you did everything in your power to try and resolve the situation. As much as a five-year old could. We talked and we’ve taken this situation up and then…then your tenacity and ability to want to see a problem through on your own awes me…

You say:

“mama, it’s okay, i will try again tomorrow to be friends. i will try and sort it out and carry on”.

My sweet Cam. My sweet and wonderful Cam. You astound me. You astound me so much with your commitment to wanting to resolve a situation, no matter how small in life, on your own. You simply awe me, my precious girl.

I want to tell you something. Something that my mom told me when I too was little, and tackling some hurt that I had as a teenager. I quote this for you straight from my mama’s letter to me, because it lives on our fridge and I read it every day. It says:

Knocks of all kind come at you, from unexpected angles and unexpected people, at any time of your life.

Make of yourself an inner fortress, which nothing and noone can penetrate. Do this by whatever means necessary…personally carry it out. Resolve that nobody and nothing can penetrate your inner calmness…Be very sure that the knocks and stumbles that you are finding hard to deal with now in your young life are preparing you for the “maybe” harder ones in your life to come. See them as a testing ground. You will overcome them…

Now, I realise that that’s a ginormous life lesson to learn for you, at five. But, when I see how you deal with these little life-knocks, and how you’ve resolved to try to sort out the situation on your own, I am proud. In your actions and words, I see my mommy and my daddy, and baby, mama cries because they would be so proud of you. They are so, so proud of you. I promise you that. I know it like I know how your head feels against my chest. I know it like I know you.

Life’s knocks come and go, I promise. And EveGranny was a very wise lady, wasn’t she? We are very blessed to have her as our own.

My precious daughter. The other night, you came to me and said you missed EveGranny, that you think it would be nice if you could tell her all about your new school, and she could visit us at our new house. I cuddled you and reminded you how much she loved you, and how proud she was of you and your cousins. And, remember when we spoke about genetics and how everybody inherits characteristics from their mom and dad and grandparents?…

(yes, readers, Cam uses words like characteristics, awesome, right? right!)

Well, my sweet Cam, that tenacity that you have. That desire to want to see a problem through? You got that. You got that from EveGranny.

With love and mamapride that has no bounds,



7 thoughts on “On standing up for yourself.”

  1. Hey, it’s hard. Sometimes you want to stand where she’s standing, and be the one to make the educated response, I, for one, am proud of the way my kids are gentle, yet with values, and are able to empathise with rough kids. Cam sounds like that too. Not cynical. That is more precious than you could possibly realise. Strong women of africa, unite!

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