I spent most of my childhood that way. I had a few friends but I still felt like an outsider. I wasn't athletic or outgoing, I wasn't especially talented in any way, I was just shy, reserved kid. I got picked on a lot as a kid in school and I have one particularly strong memory of being in Grade 3 and crying at my desk and yelling at the kids in my class that I hated them all and was glad I was switching schools. I did switch schools in grade 4 until the end of grade 6 and it was there that I met my best friend for the next 7 years. It was also where I met Judy who remains my best friend today.
But in grade 7 I went back to that old school, where the kids made fun of me. Ironically I asked to go back there but it was because my best friend was switching schools. I was initially put into a grade 6/7 split class but then the second day of school I was moved into the 7/8 split class....with all the same kids who'd made fun of me back in grade 3. I was miserable and threw fit and ran away from school, called my mom and told her I wasn't going back. Obviously I went back. Funny thing though (not funny haha though) The teacher pulled me aside after this incident and said to me "Do you know what the class said when I told them you'd be joining us? They all groaned" I shit you not people, the teacher actually said that to a 12 yr old girl who was already clearly distressed about being in that class. Needless to say that teacher got about as much respect from me as a cockroach would. And the really fun part, I got to have him (and those same classmates) for grade 7 and 8! Lucky lucky me.
I'd like to say it got better but in actual fact it didn't. My elementary school career, save for half of grade 4, and grades 5 and 6 sucked....in a large way. I didn't fit in. I had a few friends but not many. I generally hated school.
(Though I must mention one side note incident, and it might seem petty but to this day I smile and think "HAHA BITCH!" when I think of it.) I had a boyfriend in grade 8. His name was Jody. He didn't go to our school and was a year or two older than me. He was so very cute. I met him through my best friend. Anyhow he used to umpire kids baseball and it so happened that one of the leading tormentors in my class played baseball and had (unbeknownst to me) a giant crush on him. So one day he came to my school at recess and we talked and held hands and probably gave each other a peck or two. Well this girl saw the whole thing and I'll tell ya, the green monster was alive and well in her. And all she could say was "Jody is YOUR boyfriend??!!" That's right sister....and he's a great kisser! (Actually I don't remember if he was a great kisser but whatever)
Anyhow, there is a reason I'm talking about all this and it's not about a woe is me I got picked on as a kid pity party. It's actually about Mary.
I notice more and more that Mary is on the outside looking in. Not so much at school just yet but it's starting at home. She's always marched to the beat of her own drummer and lately I've noticed that she and Em do not get along. This in itself is not shocking, they are sisters and I think it would be more shocking to have sisters who do get along but it's also with her own best friend. They argue more often. Her best friend is choosing to play with Emily more often. Mary is by herself, left out and though she's sometimes okay with it, a lot of times she is sad about it. The thing is, I don't know how to fix it.
I don't want to discourage her personality, that is what makes Mary Mary. It's the unique 'wearing striped leggings with a checkered shirt and flower socks with dress shoes. It's the silly faces, the over abundance of energy and the imagination. And while these are the things that set her apart....they are also the things that set her apart.
I don't want my baby to be on the outside looking in. I remember how much that hurt. But I also know that it's made me the person I am today. And sometimes it takes a little crappiness to build a great personality. It's just getting there that's the hard part.