Last week was a blur, I took a break from the ranch and went to the mall for some me time, not really, I'm remembering that I went there to meet my oldest who needed some new outfits for her Senior portraits, but the fact was I was out of the house without a three year old attached to my leg and feeling free as a bird.
This is how it went....
As I wondered through Dillards, texting my oldest daughter to meet me in the Juniors Department in ten minutes, I received a call. Normally my phone doesn't get good service in the mall and I don't answer, but I looked down at the number and thought maybe it was a mom that I have been waiting to hear from, so I answered. I listened to the woman on the phone introduce herself, I didn't understand what she said due to her accent, but I did hear the part when she said Assistant Principal from the high school. As I stood there, frozen like a statue in the Housewares Department, my heart nearly fell to floor and back. She went on to tell me that my daughter was involved in an altercation and she wanted to let me know what happened based on the information she had gotten so far. My mind was racing, ALTERCATION, then I experienced split second flashes of ALTERCATION scenarios, [fight - police - accident, caught for something], I settled my brain and let her talk and explain the situation.
My daughter was the victim of another student who was overly jealous that her boyfriend talked to my daughter in art class. The jealous student conjured up some thoughts that my daughter liked her boyfriend and apparently she wasn't going to have that. She physically and verbally attacked my daughter in the hallway between classes and to top it off her twin sister joined in on the attack. The scene was like that of something you would have seen on a reality show with two uncontrollable screaming girls two inches from their victim pushing and screaming like animals. My daughter said she was scared but knew the ramifications of fighting back and didn't want to stoop to their level. She was able to not let the fear show and walk away to get to her class and find a friend to tell what had just happened before the class started. Her teacher was out in the hall talking to another teacher when the sister of the jealous girl came bursting in the classroom and stomped over to my daughter once again with her face red and bursting like an explosive volcano and began screaming and warning my daughter to stay away from the boyfriend my daughter could care less about. Once again, my daughter had to pull her strength back, the thoughts raced in her head on how to protect herself, but somehow she restrained her thoughts and conducted herself in a lady-like manner. Her teacher finally heard the commotion and ran over to them pulling the out-of-control sister out of the room and hauling her to the principal's office. My daughter sat down in her chair with her heart pounding and thinking to herself what just happened. She didn't know either of the girls, had never even spoken to either one of them and from a single moment of walking from one class to another an event such as the one that happened changed her day in a flash.
The principal told me she thought she had the situation under control but I needed to talk with my daughter and call her the next morning. She explained that she believed my daughter was the victim of a bullying situation and they would get to the bottom of it. I hung up with her feeling sick inside, the kind of sickness that envelopes your being to the core. I worried and thought and worried some more. As I found the exit to the store I dialed my daughter's number and no answer. I called my oldest to see if she knew what went on at school, no answer. I drove to the school and sat in my car waiting to my daughter's sport practice to end. When she came out, just seeing her face calmed me, her smile made me feel better instantly. The long ride back to the ranch was filled with the story of what happened. I was so proud of her and how she conducted herself with the exception of a few words that came out of her mouth that I would have rather not heard.
The next morning I called the principal to set up a meeting, I didn't hear back for several hours and then I received a call back from her. She told me she had met with the witnesses and confirmed who was in the wrong and explained that in all her years of administration and dealing with conflicts among students she had never met a child who conducted herself in such an exemplary manner. All three girls were talked to separately and then together, there's something to be said about bringing the bully in front of the victim. Things seem to come out that otherwise might not have. Maybe they have a bad home-life, or have had a rough upbringing or maybe it was an incredibly bad day that turned ugly. We will never know. The bottom line was the twins were sorry, especially the sister, and they realized what they did was beyond wrong and vicious and uncalled for. If there is a next time with someone else they may not be so lucky to have the opportunity to shake hands and walk away. The next time, if there is a next time, will result in a jail cell and a problematic future. I said a prayer for them and their future and thanked God for how it turned out.
The silver lining to my daughter's rough week was perfect in my eyes, she was announced Homecoming Attendant for her class. Once again, I was proud of my daughter and her accomplishments.
I love my kids and I'm so thankful for them.