As most of you know, we are homeschoolers, but once a week we do attend a homeschool co-op where over 100 kids come together for all different types of classes. I teach photography and the kids get to do things like gym and art that I wouldn't be able to do at home.
There are times that some teachers aren't able to make it so I may fill in for them in other classes as well. For a few weeks I filled in for Lilla's geography teacher so I got to see Lilla's classroom and how things went for her.
I noticed right away that Lilla was alone. She sat on the other side of the table at lunch than the other girls, she sat alone at a table in class, she walked to the classes alone...everything. As a parent, this just hurt my heart. Lilla is really friendly and outgoing so I couldn't imagine why this would be. To be honest, I'm still not sure, but something I did notice is that it didn't seem to bother Lilla at all. She just went on about her day and looked forward to the time that she got to see her best friend in bible quiz at the end of the day. It's a very small class full of girls that all surround around one other girl that kind of runs the room and Lilla is the only one who doesn't do that. It's very interesting to me to watch.
Anyway, at lunch one day the girls all started talking about "things" they had gotten for birthdays and Christmas' as it had just been one girls birthday. They got sparkly hats and clothes, toys and diary's...and inevitably, the topic moved to American girl dolls. They all began to discuss how many they had. This girl had one, this girl had three...it went around the table and Lilla said, "I have two!" My heart sank again because she doesn't have two American girl dolls, she has two dolls from Target that are similiar in size and type. My husband and I just can't justify $120 on a doll that they carry around, get dirty, clothes get torn up... With such a tight budget we just can't. So, after school that day I explained to Lilla about the difference in dolls. I hadn't told her to that point as I didn't even know she'd ever even heard of American girl dolls. She's usually oblivious to anything name brand.
After that I started thinking maybe we could just do that, and only that, for Christmas. So, I asked her if she'd want that. She thought, in her Lilla way for a long time, and then came back to me and said, "No mom, I don't think that would be the wise choice. That's a lot of money for a doll." Again, tears from me as I just can't help but love a child that would say something like that. Later on that week I was relaying the story of how lovely Lilla was about the doll and my mom, who is sympathetic to being left out, began to have her heart set on getting one for her. So she did. And this was Christmas...