My youngest daughter's class is a challenge. There are only 8 girls, out of 24 kids, and the class dynamic among the girls is.... complex.
Whenever I ask my daughter what is bothering her, it almost never has to do with me or my cancer. It almost always has to do with something that is going on with the girls in her class.
She has been particularly bothered by certain divisive behavior exhibited by specific girls in her class. Recently, she has taken a more active role in organizing class activities.
Last night, she organized an Erev Banot (a "girl's night out"). During the first half of the evening, she ran several mischakei chevra (interactive games). Several games were "just for fun," but one or two of them had a serious social message.
At one point, I thought she might want to do something a little differently. When I called her over, she calmly told me that she wanted to do things a certain way. I realized that this was her show, and I should just sit back and try to be invisible (not at all and easy task for me).
The last game she played with the girls required all the girls to cooperate with each other. I thought it was a clever choice, considering her goals for the evening. It was fascinating to listen in on the game.
Ironically, one of the girls who can be a bit standoffish, when she is not at the center of attention, came very late. My daughter immediately included her in the game, but the girl was hanging back. However, because the nature of the game required cooperation, almost immediately I heard the other girls saying "you have to join with us or we cannot do it."
After the final game, my daughter summed up the evening beautifully, explaining that in life, as well as in the class, the best way to achieve our goals is by working together.
Please daven (or send happy, healing thoughts) for RivkA bat Teirtzel.
With love and optimism,