She’s twelve and a term and a half into her first year of secondary school and again, nothing new for anyone with a twelve year old.
The thing is that she’s struggling to make friends. We had a really long chat about it a couple of weeks ago as it something that was upsetting her quite a lot, once I got her to open up.
We talked about the various reasons she wasn’t making friends. There’s no bullying going on but what I got is a sense that she feels different. Her “peers” are all swanning around in make up, handbags and glam clothing whereas she’s just in whatever is comfortable, wouldn’t know how to start on the makeup and isn’t interested to start with.
They all huddle together at break times and talk about the boys; she reads. They saunter to classes; she runs and then has to put up with “you’re making us look late when you run” comments. (They are late, it’s a long way between classes and she runs to be on time).
She does her homework, on time (there’s another story about that another time); they don’t.
Now I am aware that much of this is a one sided perspective and there is nothing wrong with their behaviour at all.
It’s perfectly normal. You’ll see it in every school, playground, office, or social grouping you come across.
It’s also boring.
The greatest thing about our conversation was that she didn’t really mind. She likes being on time, she likes reading (sorry, loves reading), most of her friends are boys anyway (yes, I know that will change – I have my baseball bat already) and overall she values the friendships that she does have as she feels they’re stronger relationships (her words).
You see, Josie’s a little different. She likes to do things her way. She looks at what everyone else does and does what she wants.
She doesn’t give a shit what other people think.
I believe she’s becoming a leader, a shepherd, not a sheep and I love her for it.