While giving my kindergartner a bath one night, I decided to ask her about her friends at school. Since she was comfortable, relaxed, and had my full attention, I hoped she might be more forthcoming than usual about how things were going with her little girlfriends.
In the past couple of months, we’ve talked about her friends playing or not playing with her. I was amazed to hear how the little girl problems start so young. Best friends made and broken in a day’s time, cliques, and the pressure to be a certain way – all existed already for my 6-year-old.
That night in the bath, I listened as she expressed her sadness over not having a best friend and the various reasons other girls had turned her down for such a role. I sat quietly for a minute, wondering how to make her feel better. I thought of all the times I’d been hurt by friends myself, wishing I could protect her from all the meanness in the world.
Instead, I started explaining how Jesus would never leave her or be mean to her. That he is there in the space left empty from others’ harsh words, insensitivity, or betrayal. I will never be able to fully protect her from the hurts of this world, but as she nodded and smiled at me, I realized I had at least armed her with the assurance that she’ll never face them alone.