Well, so much for getting back to normal. After a week off from school, the Princess went back to school, overdid things, and has been experiencing additional abdominal pain. So we took Friday off and went back in to the hospital for outpatient testing to ensure all is sound and healing properly. No bad news from that yet, so we will assume all is well.
In the meantime, the Princess noted some tension and much smirking and snarking from her classmates when she returned (yes - the same little pack of snots who've been horrible to her since jr. high) and the Athlete noticed some strange behavior among his set as well. It all finally made sense on Thursday...one girl asked the Princess if she was going to be able to return to gym due to her "delicate condition" and another chimed in that no, she'd be recovered soon, and didn't she look like she'd actually lost weight due to her "procedure." Princess didn't put it all together until she was sitting alone on a crowded bus and pondering it all on her way home. A girl in hysterics burst through the door and related all of the details. Then she got sick.
Later that evening, the Athlete was asked about "the rumor" by his physician father, who'd been told outside of the school environment that something unkind was circulating about the Princess at school - more specifically, that she'd had something other than her appendix removed. Fortunately, he knows his son as well as I know my daughter (and really, you can't get pregnant by kissing each other goodnight with mom right there...), and no one who knows either of them well lends any credence to such nonsense. But try telling that to a 15 year old mortified Princess and a now-feral Athlete whose Princess' good name (and his by implication) has been besmirched by a group of vicious, nasty, jealous little [bad word]s for no purpose other than to hurt and damage two nice kids whose lives are centered around living out the kind of goodness and virtue that such maladjusted creatures cannot understand. He's very, very angry and ready to "throw down" if anyone dares speak it aloud.
So this weekend has revolved around soothing the wounded pair and coming up with strategies to get through it. It will all blow over, they will emerge unscathed, those who know them will laugh it off, and those detractors who persist will demonstrate their own foolishness to others. (I will spare you a recounting of the inner thought processes and utter rage that HeloMom has experienced these past few days...)
And yes, I had a chat with one of the school administrators on Friday . For all the good it did, which was not much. The Athlete was in the office raising hell and I was on speaker phone with a silently weeping Princess in the background trying to come up with a solution. There isn't one when you're dealing with teenaged girls. Pulling the rumormongerers from class (this was the school's suggestion) and engaging in the accusation/denial ritual will not cure the problem or make life easier for Princess. In fact, it is like throwing gas on a fire and things will escalate. Plus it's a matter of giving legs to the rumor and making it more talked-about, more widely. I think the Athlete and Princess need to deal with it under the radar by starting a counterintellgence campaign among their peers and that will be more effective than anything the adults can do at the school level. Fortunately, the little pack of 9th grade girls who seem to have started it are not well-liked by anyone...save themselves. It will die down, and they will been seen for what they are.
The one thing that struck me most about the administrator's reaction to it all was the utter lack of understanding that it is NOT simply a matter of gossip and slander - she's put up with that crap from this group for awhile now. But to a minority-opinion-having, ardently prolife girl, this is the lowest and most disgusting sort of rumor imagineable. I had to explain more than once that it assaulted her character, sure, but worse, it violated her core beliefs and her dignity. And given the flak she's taken for voicing her feelings about abortion, about the presidential campaign (remember the inauguration letter flap?), and even the teasing about her purity ring, who can blame her for never wanting to set foot in the place again? We're past that now, and she's ready to return and fight back tomorrow.
But what a thing for anyone's child to go through. As I told the young couple, the devil never seems to relent, especially when you do your best to live out your goodness and principles for others to see. Don't give in to the anger and despair, and hold your heads high.
St. Michael, pray for us. (And yeah, I'm thinking it's high time for some Old Testament smiting on the evildoers. Is that so wrong?)
Helo Mom is not a fan of the meds, but a little Xanax might have been nice these past few days. But in the absence of that, there's this:
PSALM 23 v 22
1 Yahweh is my shepherd,
I lack nothing.
2 In meadows of green grass he lets me lie.
To the waters of repose he leads me;
3 there he revives my soul.
He guides me by paths of virtue
for the sake of his name.
4 Though I pass through a gloomy valley,
I fear no harm;
beside me your rod and your staff
are there, to hearten me.
5 You prepare a table before me
under the eyes of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil,
my cup brims over.
6 Ah, how goodness and kindness pursue me,
every day of my life;
my home, the house of Yahweh,
as long as I live!
(From my Jerusalem Bible, 1966 ed. )