Mean Girls, Mary Poppins and Me

Of the many times in my life I have been bullied by mean girls, the mean mom from my daughter’s elementary school is a stand out.  She was happy to say to my face one day, “We all have a nickname for you.  We call you Heather.”  I was clueless about the reference until I googled it and found the movie The Heathers, the cult classic featuring the hated trio of blonde girls of the same name.

I was hurt, disappointed and baffled.  Apparently mean girls grow up to be mean moms.  Their claws seem to come out when other women shine a bit too brightly or are just too happy in life.

Recently, my former neighbor called me to catch up after exploring my author website.  She has two daughters, one in college now and the other two years younger than my daughter. She is a school teacher and an expert in child development and psychology.  She has an adoring husband, is crafty, a great cook and always took the lead on neighborhood parties for kids and adults. Our friendship included many heart to heart chats in our front yards over the years regarding our girls and what they were going through.  

This phone call was about her younger daughter who is now experiencing the same kind of meanness my daughter has gone through. It made her think about the time she found out that a mom down the street called her “Mary Poppins” behind her back.  She was upset and hurt until I pointed out that Mary Poppins is practically perfect in every way. Mary Poppins is an awesome person with a huge heart for helping people, especially children.  That definitely fit her to a “T”, and in my mind it was a huge compliment from a woman who may or may not have meant it that way.  She never forgot how I cleared that up for her.  It brought us closer as friends.

It has been six years since we moved from that neighborhood. I miss her. She misses me too. She has always been supportive of my pursuits and wanted me to know she is excited to read my books and looks forward to the wisdom I am finally brave enough to share with the world.   Wisdom I have accumulated by surrounding myself with people like her.

My former neighbor and I are completely different people with different paths in life. What we do share is our love for our daughters and our passion to raise them to be amazing, kind, successful human beings. We share a bond of friendship and support.

Sadly, mean girls will always be a thing. But Heather and Mary Poppins are going to smile and wave and shine on anyway.