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Eight years ago I drove past Bella playing on the playground by herself at Penn Hebron. She wasn’t crying or even looking sad. However, my heart broke…shattered. She was 30 feet away and yet a million miles from me. I couldn’t help, I couldn’t be there for her. She came home like normal and said that recess was fine.

Today, as a 14 year old, she was getting ready to go to district orchestra practice for the day. She had left her music in Rachel’s van. She was distraught and crying. She was already nervous that she was supposed to bring her cello home and that it would be locked in the school. She wasn’t sure of that but thought that might be the case (it wasn’t). Regardless, she HAD left her music and was in a mild panic.

Rachel pointed out, via phone, that one of my volleyball girls played the same instrument and was in districts as well. I messaged her while taking Bella to school (Bella messaged from my phone. I don’t text and drive and especially don’t do it with little eyes watching). Frankie came through and agreed to make copies for Bella, disaster averted.

After all was said and done I noticed something. I didn’t feel nearly as bad for Bella when something was actually wrong compared to her earlier when nothing was wrong. I was even a bit put off by her reaction. I’m learned enough in emotional needs to not let it show (I hope) but it was there. Why?

It could be because this was her fault. It might be because I want her to be more cool about it. I suppose I didn’t want the turmoil of something that would no doubt be fine in the end. It could be a number or things. However, I don’t like it.

Do I expect more of her now? Should she be more in control at this point? Was she just an innocent child then and now should have it more under control? Hard to say. When all was said and done Rachel (the “tough one”) said, “Poor Bella.” Hmmmmm, I was the cold one here. Again, as far as I know, I didn’t let this on to Bella. Sure I hate to see her cry but there was a part of me that was like, “Ooooh boy, here we go.”

Yes, she is 14. Yes, there are hormones toying with her at every turn. Yes, getting in “trouble” and social embarrassment are very real concerns for a 14 year old. Yes, she’s perfectly normal. I get all of that.

I just wish it broke my heart more. I don’t ever want to forget that little lonely girl on the playground. She has been through far worse in life and in social circles since then. I am so proud of her and who she is. I just have to remember that she’s always my sweet angel girl.

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