Dearest Girl1:

I see you come home from school today, grumpy, needy, wanting more attention than I can give you, your sensitive heart so swollen and beating against the cage of your ribs.

And I ask you, what’s the matter? And you cry out, I don’t know.

I don’t know.

You don’t know, but I think I do.

I know what it feels to be in a group of friends, and feel like the fake. The outsider. The one just barely tolerated.

Not loved quite enough. Not quite the specialist one. And then to come home and hope that finally, ah, yes, here at least I will be the specialist one, the shining one, and my swollen, thirsting, needful heart will finally get what it needs to shrink down to a manageable size….but mommy’s busy with dinner and girl2’s practicing piano and…and…

So you’re grumpy and whining, and plop down on your bed in your room because it’s easier to be alone in truth than to bear the pain of being alone amongst other people.

But it gets better, dearest one. It does.

Oh it will take a long, long time, and you must hack a path with bare teeth and broken fingernails through hormones and romance and expectations until your heart all but bursts with the pain of feeling.

But it will ease back on its own because you will find something that you like or are good at, and maybe you will never be the specialist one, but you will love and be loved, and sometimes that’s enough.

And until then, just remember that when you come home so antsy in your skin you can’t even sit down and I tell you, do your homework or else, what I really mean is, I love you and it gets better.