It was hard for her, because the kids were playing Bad Guys and Jail, which is something Maeve pretty much objects to on every grounds imaginable. As she tells me, people aren't "all the way bad" in real life, and jail is only for adults.
It was a group of boys playing with one girl, and this girl was all girl. Long, waist length hair, sparkly cowboy boots, the whole deal. And she positively glowed with pleasure as the boys dragged her around the playground, imprisoning her in different areas.
Maeve was very thrown by this. Why wouldn't the girl play with HER? Why was she letting boys put her in pretend jail? Why didn't she just get up and leave and do something FUN?
And as I watched it all go down, I felt an awful mix of feelings. Proud of my girl for not being willing to be kidnapped by boys, but realizing that kindergarten is going to bring a lot of kinds of play that she's not going to like, and not going to want to be a part of. I worried that she'll be playing by herself a lot next year, that she won't find a playground soul mate who'll play Dinosaur Veterinarian with her.
But I'm the one who taught her to be aggressively herself, to not change herself to please others, to value her individuality and her imagination. And so I sort of set her on this course, I guess. But I think even without that encouragement, she would have been that kind of kid.
I hope, I hope so much, that she finds some friends next year; friends who see who she is, and love it. Please. Please.