Monday, June 27, 2011

On Friendship

I brought chapter thirteen of my work-in-progress to critique group today. Have I mentioned how much I love my critique group? These talented writers and true friends help convince me I know what I'm doing, and they encourage me to keep going. We brainstorm ideas, and when I try to take the easy way out, they don't let me. Nope. Not gonna happen on their watch. That impossible scene I thought maybe I wouldn't have to write? Guess what? I have to write it. I love these women. I could not be on this journey without them. Just sayin.

So I come home from critique, feeling inspired, and I take my dog for a walk. I'm plugged into my iPod, and I'm listening to the soundtrack from The Book of Mormon, and everything's lovely. Then I hear someone call my name from a passing car. I look up and wave, and that's when I see this 16-year-old kid stick his head out of the driver's seat window and make a mean face at me. Seriously? This punk used to bother my daughter back in middle school, but that was years ago, and - newsflash - I'm not a kid. I'm the kid's mom.

I am honestly flabbergasted by this snotty, unprovoked disrespect toward an adult. It's so odd that it brings me right back to when my daughter was in middle school. Though my daughter was no angel, the way the other kids and parents (yes, the parents were the worst offenders) treated her was unbelievable. If I ever wrote about it, you would never believe it because it's a case of the truth being way stranger than fiction. Sometimes I even wonder if it all really happened the way I remember it. But today, with this jerk making a face at me out of the blue, I'm reminded that yes, what happened was real. And it was completely unfair.

I'm so grateful that we were able to find a different school in a different community for my daughter. One where she is free to be herself, to learn and grow from mistakes, to explore her passions, and make good friends. Friends who, like my wonderful critique group, will hopefully encourage her to do her best, believe in her abilities, and never take the easy way out.

As for the punk in the car... all I can do is shake my head and laugh. I hope he grows up someday and learns the right way to treat people.


Lisa Jenn Bigelow said...

I had an experience today where a woman (a stranger on my swamp tour(!!!)) was snotty to me for no good reason, and I had to remind myself repeatedly that perhaps she was only having a bad day... or that if she wasn't, if she's always like that, perhaps she doesn't have enough good people in her life. It's so true that surrounding yourself with people who believe you're a kind/talented/whatever person makes it much easier to be that person.

Brenda Ferber said...

You're so right!
Sorry you had to deal with that snotty woman. Were there no hungry alligators you could have introduced her to?

Lisa Jenn Bigelow said...

Ha! They were too plumped up with marshmallows and hotdogs. And, presumably, natural foods like turtles and other alligators. Have I ever mentioned how grateful I am that cannibalism is not the American way?