Last night, I was honoured to overhear/observe my daughter’s sterling middos (character traits) in action. The school is hosting a mini-Shabbaton this week. As many girls live too far away to walk back to school Friday night, those of us living close offered our homes so that each girl could enjoy the program.
One of my daughter’s best friends (Malky*) made arrangements to stay at a third friend’s house (Rena*) and my daughter invited yet another friend (Pnina*) to sleep here. Everything was organized and everyone was happy – or so thought I, the old and out-of-touch mother:)
The phone rang as my daughter and I walked in the door yesterday evening. It was Pnina wondering if Malky would be staying at our house too. My daughter came into the kitchen and asked me. Now, I was very confused – what was going on? I thought Pnina was staying here and Malky was going to Rena’s house. My daughter patiently updated me. Malky’s plans with Rena had fallen through and she had asked my daughter if she could stay here. Ok. I said. No problem.
Hmm. Apparently, Malky and Pnina don’t really get along that well and Pnina said that if Malky is staying here, she (Pnina) would just stay home. Oh, the drama! My daughter was distraught. You could see the cogs turning in her head as she tried to appease everyone involved. Obviously, she wanted both of her friends not only to come to our house but to like each other. As she explained the dynamic to me she came to her own conclusion. “They just need time to get used to each other. I think that by next year, they will be friends.” Ever the optimist:)
My daughter got on the phone to see if there was anywhere else Malky could stay but it seemed that everyone already had full houses. I suggesed that they could both stay here, sharing one meal and a night of sleep broken up by the school Oneg Shabbos. On Shabbos day, I suggested, maybe Malky could go to Rena’s house. My daughter thought this sounded reasonable and called Pnina to see what she thought of that.
Pnina was not happy. Pnina decided to call around herself and see if there was somewhere else she could stay, thus allowing Malky to stay with us. My daughter said that was fine, but only if she wanted to. We had made the arrangement with Pnina and my daughter was not changing that unless that is what Pnina wanted. Pnina called back later on to tell my daughter that she would be staying with another classmate and to apologize to my daughter and thank her for being so understanding. I only heard one end of the conversation, but my daughter didn’t sound too thrilled to hear that Pnina would not be staying here but she perked right up when Pnina explained that she had found somewhere else to stay and would be participating in the Shabbaton!
And so, in the end, all three girls were happy – let’s just pray they remain that way! I was so proud of the way my daughter handled the situation and the sensitivity she exhibited towards her friends. And, I am sooo glad that my middle school days are far behind me:)
* not their real names, obviously:)