While I don't usually post personal items here on the blog, I'm really proud of our daughter and I wanted to share it with you.
Now that she's a little older, I'm also going to drop my prohibition of printing her name online. (Hey, as a well-known gay activist in Indiana, you don't invite trouble for a child - if you know what I mean.) She's old enough to read the blog now and a regular on some of the social networking sites; the time has come.
Paige is fourteen and fully into the "mean girls" rebellion. We've had a couple instances where she was accused of bullying other students. We couldn't understand what was going on. After all, that wasn't the morals we'd taught her.
We lectured and grounded. In regular teenage fashion, she rolled her eyes and tried to ignore us.
Just when we started to despair, we got another phone call from the school. This time though, it was to praise Paige for good behavior.
A gaggle of girls had circled a mentally handicapped girl and had talked her into doing the "Soldier Boy," a dance that's apparently become the latest craze. (For bonus points, see if you can find the gay kid in this video example!)
Of course, she looked silly trying to mimic the other girls and they started laughing at her. Desperately wanting to fit in and searching for any type of attention, the handicapped girl started laughing too. Paige refused to join in.
Part of the game of Extreme Drama is to yell and whoop and holler in the lunch room so everyone can see you're upset. Paige has played the game before. This time I'm willing to overlook the social graces.
The other girls started pestering her about why she hadn't joined in. She told them it was wrong to make fun of someone because they're different. It escalated until the teacher walked over in time to hear the girls defend their actions.
"We were laughing with her, not at her."
To which Paige replied, "She's not laughing with you if she doesn't know why she's laughing. She just wants to be your friend."
I'm a proud papa.