I like to think I set a good example for my children. I tried to teach them right from wrong, by doing, not just paying lip service. So I was a bit distressed when, on a Thanksgiving when my daughter was ten, I came to discover I was raising a mean little girl.
We had friends over for the holiday. The mother was my best friend. Her husband and she were getting divorced and so she was alone with the children that year. Her son was my son’s best friend and her daughter was one of my daughter’s best friends. Now while my son was the type to make friends for life, my daughter was of the more fickle variety. Best friends could be mortal enemies in a matter of days. And then of course, they would be best friend again, with no explanation whatsoever. As a mother, it was jolly hard to keep track of.
So, on this particular Thanksgiving, I supposed my daughter and my friend’s daughter were on a friendly spell. After we shared the meal, the children retreated to the basement, where they played while the adults cleaned up and enjoyed adult conversation. I was happily chatting with my friend when her daughter came up the stairs crying.
She was truly distressed, and when I asked what the problem was, she stated, “Jennifer says jockeys only make one dollar per year!”
Well, understand, please, I had no idea why this tidbit of non-factual information would distress this chubby little girl so. But I consoled her and assured her that Jennifer knew nothing about the salaries of jockeys and she should not pay her any mind.
To this day, my daughter remembers telling this poor child that nonsense, and doing so BECAUSE she knew it would upset her. It turns out, my friend’s daughter had a dream of becoming a jockey one day. And she made the mistake of sharing it with my mean little daughter!
I am thankful my daughter outgrew that stage. My friend’s daughter did take some riding lessons when she was in high school, but she also had outgrown her desire to be a jockey. She graduated from college with two degrees, in English and Japanese…..and I think she can safely expect to bring home a little more that that fabled jockey’s salary!