I hate being able to see past things. I hate being able to read children so easily. There is a very special young girl in my life that when I was at my last job became very close and attached to me. She always made a point to come and see me while I was working. She loved hanging out with me and cracking jokes. We played and hung out together I helped her with her swimming.
When I wasn’t at work she would get mad at me and interrogate me why I wasn’t at work. She would tell me things like she wishes I was her mom. Many very sweet things and I could tell that she care a lot about me but it didn’t add up. Lots of kids care about me and have love for me, but this was different. This is different. This is mirroring what I was like as a kid.
This girl texts me a lot. Usually when she has something funny to say or when something is on her mind. Rarely do I text her first. But tonight out of the blue her dad takes her phone and texts me saying:
Chanel, this is _________’s father. Your communication and relationship with my daughter appears inappropriate. I hope you will understand this and maintain a formal relationship that is appropriate for a person your age and an 11 year old.
Ok. I don’t know what I have ever said that is inappropriate to __________ but I can understand a parents’ concern. So I politely tell him:
OK. Not a problem. To be more specific could you please tell me what you would like me to change so I know and can do so?
He avoids the question, he tells me I should know. So I go back a reread texts. I have been supportive when she has had a bad day. When she isn’t getting along with someone I listen and give her advice. I sent her inspirational texts like have a great day! You are an awesome person, show the world it today. I have had funny banter with her back and forth making jokes. If she text me late at night I tell her she needs her rest and should be asleep.
So far I see nothing inappropriate about these texts but I am not going to fight a parent about their rules. It is not my job, I am not family, I am just a person that their kids got really close to and want me to go to their games, plays, meets and hang out with. So I tell him I don’t want to disrupt their family and their rules so I will discontinue contact but I really do wish he would tell me what is bothering him because I work with many children of all ages and it is very helpful to have feedback.
It doesn’t sit right with me. __________ would hang on me and be upset when she had to leave me to go to practice or go home. She would follow me around all over the place. Tell me all the time she wishes I was her mom. You can tell something heavy is weighing on her. I can see the sadness in her eyes. I can she her acting out is an out cry for someone to rescue her. Her being violent and trying to physically dominate people bigger than her is a way for her to gain control. I see myself in her when I was that age and it makes me want to cry.
I told the parents I wouldn’t talk to her any more and I am not going to violate that promise. It secretly kills me that with time she might have felt that I would be a safe person to open up to even more. It kills me that she might be me. It kills me that because I have no actual evidence besides my gut feeling and knowing what it is like to be that little girl that if I go to the police nothing will be done. They won’t take me seriously.
I pray that I am wrong. IF there is a god out there I will be wrong. Oh please let me be wrong. Please don’t let this bright wonderful child be stripped away from her childhood and innocence. It isn’t fair to her. It isn’t fair to any child. God, let me be wrong.