While at a labor day party this weekend the kids were running around the yard, being kids and having fun. One of my nieces, pretty close in age to the peanut, was kicking the soccer ball around with another older niece. I could see the peanut chasing them around the yard, wanting to get in on the game too. They seemed oblivious to her as she went from one spot to another trying to be a "part" of it all. Suddenly I noticed her stop and kind of look down as if she just felt excluded and didn't know what to do.
My natural instinct was to get up and say, "Include her too please!!", but I didn't. I sat and sadly watched her try to figure it out on her own. My heart broke as I sympathized with those feelings of hurt and exclusion. I didn't want her to experience any of that, not yet. I let her though.
I let her because I know I cannot protect her forever. I let her because I cannot always jump in and be her Saviour. I let her because I know she is going to have to grow up at sometime and there is going to be a lot of rejection in her life. I let her because there is injustice in our world that she is going to have to face on a daily basis in her life and I want her to know how to. I let her because I love her and want her to become a strong woman who can take care of herself when the time comes. I let her go in one small way.
And then that night, I gave her an extra hug or two and I let her know that she is loved.