Messages on a White Board | Overstuffed Overstuffed

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Messages on a White Board

Santa brought Bria a big giant white board for Christmas this year.  He also threw in a few markers, an eraser and some cleaning spray.

She is in love with it.

And so am I, frankly.

I think all mothers wish to have some sort of magical window into their children's brains--to have access to their thoughts and feelings and to really understand better where they are coming from.  This white board that hasn't even been put on the wall yet (it's really big), and is just leaning against the wall near her bed has proven to be just that sort of magical tool.  It has let me into the inner workings of Bria's mind and heart and helped me to understand her better, and to know what is important to her at age 9.

Every morning when I go into their room to do a basic tidy-up, I look forward to seeing what is written on that board.  Sometimes it's a to-do list of homework, or books she'd like to read, or what she needs to get ready for the swimming party she was invited to.  Other times she'll have written a little love note to Chloe or Sophia.  Some days it's a few pictures, and other days it's been erased and left blank.

Today's white board message was a cute little picture of five girls, with their names labeled beneath them:  Bria, Ann, Erica, Sarah, Miriam.  These are her friends.  From this picture I learned that they call themselves "The Beautiful Girls" which I love.  Around the pictures she had written things like, "Look at all the beautiful eyes!" and "Aren't we beautiful?  Yes!" and "We are ESPECIALLY beautiful girls." and "We're BFFs!"

Bria has not always been so lucky as to have great friends like the ones she has found here.  She was bullied in Kindergarten and her only friend was the boy we carpooled with to school, which didn't win her many points with the other girls.  She started first grade the day after we'd moved to Cedar City, and she had a really hard time finding any friends at first.  And then the friends she did find were somewhat questionable in character (I have lots of interesting stories that should not ever come home with your first, second or third grade child).  Once, one of her so-called friends pulled down her pants, underwear and all, on the playground.  She never had an easy time of it, and it was so hard for me to watch, because I knew that being accepted by friends--good friends--is something that is important to every child, and especially important to Bria.

In third grade, a new girl named Olivia moved into our ward and was also in Bria's class.  She was overweight and nobody was very nice to or accepting of her.  Except Bria.  I remember watching her ride her scooter to school one morning (school was about a block and a half from our house) and I saw her stop to talk to Olivia, who was walking alone.  Pretty soon, they were taking turns on Bria's scooter, and even though I was a little worried they'd be late to class, I was very happy to see Bria being so kind to this girl.  They became very good friends, and even when our ward split and they didn't end up in the same one, they remained pretty close.  This was the first good friend Bria has ever had, and she was not excited about moving all the way to Michigan when she had just barely found her.

I have never prayed so hard for my child to find a good friend as I did upon our move here.  When I met Ann's mother on the first day of school and discovered that she had three daughters the same ages as mine, and that Bria and Ann were in the same class, I knew without a doubt that this was the answer to my prayer.


And so it has been.  Bria has never been happier or more confident in herself.  

I haven't been able to stop thinking of that message on her white board today.  To me, it just further confirms that we are supposed to be here.  This is a place where my child(ren) can flourish, and where I have proof that they will.

Remind me to call Santa and thank him.  

30 comments :

  1. What an adorable post - I could picture my two little girls (now big) having all the same experiences. They too loved expressing themselves through their whiteboards, bulletin boards and bedside tables. I would love to peruse their creations while they were away at school. Enjoy!

    Kristin

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  2. I need to get me one of those white boards! Who knew they had magical powers of communication?

    I'm so glad that you're all transitioning so well in your new home. It ALMOST makes it worth the terrible winters (I'm too wussy to make it through that far north) !

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  3. Sam always considered Bria one of her best friends, but that is one thing that is hard about home school. No matter how friendly Sam is with the kids at church they never seem to try to get close to her if they don't see her daily at school and I don't understand why...

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  4. We prayed our way to Las Vegas by praying for a friend for our one daughter, Corinne. She has so many darling friends, including this adorable girl across the street. She went from being an insecure, lonely 3rd grader to a happy, successful 11th grader.

    Now, if we could just pray a friend here for our son...

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  5. My Lucy is in kindergarten this year and she has three really adorable little friends... they refer to each other as their "sissys" because they love each other like sisters. I'm not sure how it happened, but I am so very grateful that Lucy finally has girlfriends! The poor thing spent the first five years of her life completely surrounded by boys, so this was a really wonderful development. Good friends make a world of difference to a child's self esteem. I'm happy for your Bria. :) And seriously... the white board? Awesome idea. :)

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  6. I love this post, my darling Bria is just so wonderful! Even as a wee small one, she would notice other girls and say to me, isn't she beautiful? Bria has always been so kind and loving. If anyone ever does anything like that on a playground again to her anywhere, they will have to answer to MAMAH!!

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  7. We have a great big chalkboard/easel that takes up way too much room, and I keep swearing I'm putting it back out in the shed. But today, after a really bad week and a particularly bad morning, I saw a message on the chalkboard from my sweet six year old that said "Dear Mom- I love you very much and I am so grafl your in our family." It's not going anywhere.

    And I'm glad that Bria has such a good friend. Still praying for that for both my girlies.

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  8. What a beautiful post - it's so great to have a view into their thoughts! And what a great answer to your prayers!

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  9. This really is a very beautiful post. I love the fact that Bria' and her friends call themselves the Beautiful Girls. That is really awesome. I am really happy to know that she is so happy in Michigan and has found such wonderful, beautiful friends. She is a wonderful girl! What a great idea with the white board.

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  10. Awh, I love that. I know tha'ts been huge for you. Def. a tender mercy.
    Too bad you won't be able to lift your arms tomorrow. :)

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  11. What a lovely post! Being a former military brat myself, I completely feel Bria's pain! So glad she's in a place where she has friends and is happy.

    And great idea about the white board!

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  12. Good friends are so, so, so, so, so important. I feel the need to start praying for good friends for my kids right now.

    The white board for your daughter is a great idea.

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  13. That is so awesome! And for them to have the confidence through each other at the start of probably some rough years, through the teenage years, it will take her far with her self esteem. Beautiful story!

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  14. Wow, that Ann is a wonderful girl! Maybe it is because she has such a Cool name ;-) I hear you about friends and in AZ the schools are like little juvenille delinquent facilities. I am so happy that you found a place in the world to raise your family in happiness and peace! It never ceases to amaze me the level of bullying allowed in the public school domain. Way to go to Bria for rising above all of that, and choosing a better way!

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  15. Good friends are such a huge part of growing up. What a happy thing for Bria--and Mom!

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  16. I love it when prayers about the needs of our kids are answered...

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  17. You're good people, Lara. And Bria's good people too. What an incredible thing to be able to say about yourself, that you're a beautiful girl. I'm so happy for her and proud of you for teaching her to see that in herself.

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  18. Yay for Bria. It is so hard to find the place where we belong socially. I sometimes still struggle with it. We moved when I was 12 and I was so incredibly abused by neighbor girls. I was relating some things to my kids the other day and they just silently stared at me in silence.

    I am sure your girls are going to be a force for good in the world. Look how Bria is already teaching her friends (I am assuming they are not LDS, probably)that they have divine worth.

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  19. Good friends are such a blessing! I loved reading this post. I love her drawing on the white board ;D It's an inspiration to me!

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  20. I love the white board idea. I bet your girls love love it. I am so glad that she has found good friends, that has always been hard when one of my kids struggles to find friends, you just ache for them.

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  21. What a great idea!
    Friends are so important. I am still traumatized by the friends, or lack thereof, in junior high. It was an awful time in my life and don't ever want my kids to feel that way. It wasn't until my family picked up and moved away from our home that i actually found great friends and flourished.
    So happy for you all!

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  22. I'm crying little tears. Tears of understanding for how Bria used to feel. I've been there and it was awful. Tears of amazement. She has come through it so beautifully. She knows she's beautiful, lifts her friends up. What a blessing your Bria is. I hope I can mother my daughter as well as you have yours.

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  23. I have tears in my eyes too. I just found out two days ago that Ethan is being bullied by an older boy on the bus. It just breaks my heart. My prayers are definitely more fervent lately.

    And I am so happy for Bria. I love that she has such a good self-esteem right now. I really hope it continues!

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  24. This makes me cry. I'm so so relieved for her and for you that she has a place to belong. We all need that.

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  25. It's amazing the insight we can gain from seemingly little things in our children's lives (a white board, etc).

    One road trip (ironically, to Cedar Mountain, where our family has a cabin), my oldest daughter, aged 6 at the time, was in tears. I crawled into the back seat of our van to talk with her about it (my husband drove).

    She vented about the myriad friendships in her first grade class. This girl wouldn't talk with her, this one bugged her, this one should be nicer, etc.

    Hours of venting. I was grateful for that trip, as it was the catalyst to breaking through to my daughter and her friendship concerns.

    Great post!!

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  26. Many of my most fervent prayers are for my children, too. I'm SO happy that Bria has good friends there! Peace of mind is priceless.

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  27. I am so happy that Bria has made great friends. That is so important for our kids. And us. I remember praying for a friend in Murray & my prayers were definitely answered.

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  28. Wonderful! I'm so happy to hear she's finding her place in her new home! BFF's rock!

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  29. 19790.....67455

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