DAMMIT. i kind of thought after the girlchild met with the school counselor, things would quiet down. while i didn't think the girls giving her shit would magically stop, i did think they'd tone it down for their own sakes. evidently, they haven't, and D and I came home to a message from the school asking us to call them back ASAP. we're not sure what the meeting is about exactly; it could just be the principal just wants to let us know he knows what's going on and is taking care of it, it could be he wants more information, it could be something else. i wonder if he doesn't want to see our pretty faces because the bullying going on is potentially lawsuit material. can you say "sexual harassment?" because now the girlchild can.
i'm not going to try and say this sort of shit didn't happen when i was 12, oh so long ago, but i will say i think the internet makes kids mean in a different way. this summer we dealt with some of that, with the same group of girls, sending mean messages through facebook and ourworld and stuff. we had good talks about how easy it is to feel like you can say whatever you want when you don't have to say it to someone's face, but how those things are still hurtful and not okay. now she doesn't have the same kind of access to the internet as then, but with school back in session she's getting a crash course in gossip. how it starts, how it spreads, what the effects are. essentially a group of girls led by one particular girl (there's always a ringleader!) has been telling everyone that the girlchild is bisexual, and that she tried to get another little girl to be her girlfriend and kiss her. being called bi doesn't bother her; she lives in a house where we're open about different kinds of sexualities and even genders (one of the boychik's friends is trans), she understands that we don't believe there's anything wrong or weird about being queer, and she doesn't believe that being called "bi" is a real insult. at the same time, it does bother her that if she says she isn't, no one listens, or they take it to mean that she really is and just denying it. in short, there isn't anything she can say or do that's going to make this better, and that's frustrating at best. if she stands up for kids who are bi or gay or questioning, she's automatically lumped in with them, if she denies it vehemently, she's implying there's something wrong with those kids and acting like the jerks.
she knows we love her, and we'd love her even if it does turn out she's bi, but that we also think she might be a bit young to have given it much thought. it's early for this to be an issue, we want her to be a kid a while longer and understand that sexuality is a part of who she is as a person, but not the definition of her. she has time to learn about herself, she has time to grow up. this shouldn't be an issue a 12 year old deals with, and we think that if she were older, or a boy, or not as okay with herself, the school would have jumped on this quite a bit earlier.
sigh. i mentioned all this to a co-worker the other day, and she said, "do you really want to marry a man with teenagers?! maybe you should have a long engagement." too late! we may as well already be married, dammit. i'm too far in! plus, now i'm all riled up. no one messed with the kid, no one. the end.