was when Riley’s mom asks her to keep being their “happy little girl” for them
that really hit me and my sister because goddamn that is SO DAMAGING FOR KIDS
me and my sister went through this during the divorce, her especially. and it HURTS because all of a sudden you can’t be upset. you can’t feel the emotions you’re supposed to feel during a big upheaval, you have to be the “strong one”. I felt like this growing up, like I couldn’t be weird or abnormal because well mom and dad are already dealing with my autistic brother, they don’t need more crap from me (nothing against my bro, i love him a LOT now, but I didn’t get it as a kid). I had to grow up insanely fast so i could take care of him and my sister, and especially protect her when mark had his meltdowns. i didn’t feel like i could talk about how any of that felt, or how it felt that mom was distant from me because she was so preoccupied with mark or how dad’s depression meant his idea of parenting was just being over silly with us and shoving mormonism down our throats. I literally only had my cat Mindy to spill my guts to, and that hurt a LOT.
kids feel anger. kids feel sad and scared and worried and hurt. you work through it with them, not expect them to be perfect.
Kurt wasn’t sure he wanted to go to kindergarten. If it was going to be anything like preschool, he’d rather stay home with his mama, even if it meant he’d never learn how to read. Preschool was full of loud boys who only wanted to play fighting games and prissy girls who didn’t want to let him play with them, and the snacks were always yucky. Kurt couldn’t take another year of icky snacks.
“You have to go, baby,” Mama told him in the car. “I know it doesn’t sound fun, but the first day is never the best. It’ll get better.”
“Promise?” Kurt asked skeptically. His mama was the smartest person he knew, but he was beginning to learn she couldn’t always be trusted about some stuff - namely, vegetables and school.
“Cross my heart,” Mama said, making an X over her chest and smiling at him in the rearview mirror.