She is 16, barely. The edges will soften as she gets older. Teens are like toddlers. Not as tough as they would want us to think. They are growing brains, so they need lots of food sleep and kindness. They do the rules about things really hard as a way of internalizing the rules, so they can break them later.
So when she tells me how bad the world is I don't worry too much. I have lived other places where people were not as kind as here. (Marthas Vineyard, Jacksonville, Boston..)
She called me from school yesterday weeping. Really sobbing, I had to slow her down so I could understand what she was saying. The last time that happened she had been in a fistfight.
She had lost her saxophone. This is huge. It usually lives at school, but she has been lugging it back and forth recently because she has an audition coming up. She is trying out for a summer music program at the Sinatra School in Queens. She has made it through the first round of rejection already, which involved an essay and character references from her teachers.
She had put the sax down, just outside the school, and she had forgotten it until she was about to get on the subway, and then she had run all the way back. It was gone, and she just broke down. Two days until the audition. It looked as if she would have to borrow an instrument for the big day-- and we would have to pay to replace the sax. She emailed her principal and her music teacher, who were calm and kind. There was quite a lot of talk about reeds and spit valves. (Eeew!)
Well. it could be done. But I told her I thought it likely that someone turned it in to the school. After all, it was left just outside the school. But she was sure that it had been stolen.
She went to school today, and I waited in some trepidation. At 9:30 I got an ecstatic text. Someone had, indeed turned it in.
So all is well. She will be more careful in the future. Some nice person did the right and kind thing. I am pleased, but not surprised.