Thursday, September 2, 2010

Just The Way You Are

"I love you just the way you are," Billy Joel sings from the car radio. My two granddaughters chat away in the backseat paying no attention to the words. It was an oldie....and a goody. I love you just the way you are.

I've been asked to keep you updated on Sydney's progress into a new school, a school where she knows no one. It is a story about a tween growing up, and maybe it is a story about each of us as well.

The new sixth graders were separated from their parents for a bit of socializing while the parents learned more about the coming year in a new school. My daughter called informing me that Syd was having a rough time. She didn't know anyone nor did she make a new friend. Popular girls were hanging together, wearing make up and having a great time. She had felt left out.

"Would it hurt if she wore make up?" I asked my daughter.

"Maybe Lisa could help her with her make up. She doesn't wear much," said my son who has refused to see his nieces wear make up.

Family consensus: Sydney can wear make up. Anything to make her feel at ease. Small step for adults. Huge step for young girl.

"Mom, she doesn't want to wear make up," my daughter later informed me.

I remembered another conversation with Sydney in which she informed me that she didn't want to be one of the popular girls. She didn't like the way they acted, especially toward others. Sydney was very well liked in her elementary school. She was never left out of parties and other social events. Never has she seen a difference in social standing, color of skin, difference in intelligence, status of living. Her heart is one of loving and caring, understanding....even for herself.

Wall post from Sydney this morning: Excited for school to start.

I want to be like my granddaughter. She loves me wrinkles and all. She embraces differences and stays true to herself. She is not boastful but sensitive and kind. She will face school just as she is with a strength and confidence that makes her so very special.

I wish we lived in a world of Sydneys. Perhaps Billy Joel would be singing our theme song.

I love you just the way you are, my friends. Pass it on.

1 comment:

  1. I have a lovely quirky granddaughter a bit older than Sydney who also rejects makeup and the popular crowd. She has, however, quite a coterie of friends who do love her just the way she is. I am sure Sydney will have a similar outcome, given a bit of time.