My daughter is a sweet, quiet, book smart type. She is also a fierce competitor regardless of the sport. What makes her unique is that none of this is ever personal. If she wants to win, if she wants an A, if she desires a friend - she does this without guile - it's truly never about besting someone else. Some call this nice. Others call it naive. For now I like it. (Though, I confess, I don't always resemble it.)
There is this girl. I know she is out to get my daughter. She pulls friends away from a group and leaves my daughter standing there. If they meet on a playing field of some sort and they are opponents it is my daughter I can tell she is aiming at. When they join forces on a team it's never really a joining, as I can see that this girl is driven by the desire to say she did better.
My daughter sees none of it.
My daughter would call her a 'friend'.
My daughter is kind that way. It's a good kind of naive.
And I'm a mom. And I want my daughter to succeed. To have friends, do well, even trounce a few people on occasion when playing a sport. I openly admit it.
And because I'm a mom, when I strive to be more like my daughter, what I see in this other girl is a messy family of parents who behave like deviants, of life that rarely includes a meal together, of this notion that if she isn't tops then it's not worth doing. I see the tears when she fails at something that isn't cry-worthy. I see a life devoid of church life, or social life beyond athletics or adult (deplorable) behavior.
I really want to be like my daughter. I have much to learn from her. And I must recall, whenever possible, to see this girl through my daughter's eyes. And through the eyes of a mother who truly does know more than what appears on the surface.