My 9-year-old granddaughter is homeschooled, but on Thursdays she goes to a “hybrid” school program with other homeschooled kids. This year she is in a class with mostly kids she didn’t know before. After the second week, I picked her up and she said it wasn’t as much fun as last year, because she didn’t fit in.
Car rides are the best places for heart-to-heart conversations. I assured her that she was a lot of fun and I strongly suspected that very soon she’d make new friends. I also listened to her pain. “They’re all into Pokemon,” she said. “And I don’t really like Pokemon.” A little while later she announced, “I have a good idea. I have a Pokemon Charmander doll. I’m going to bring that with me next week.”
The following week, after discussions with my very wise daughter, her mom, she was outfitted in her favorite “Nightmare Before Christmas” attire. Mom even made her a mask out of NBC fabric. “This is what I like,” she said. Rather than squirm to fit in, she chose to remain true to herself.
This week I picked her up. “Livvy and I are really good friends. We have so much in common. And Charlie is doing the same history curriculum I am.”
She still doesn’t like Pokemon.