Life With Ferris: Not In Mary Clare's World

  • Monday, December 4, 2023

I’ve always said I’d rather deal with a broken bone than a broken heart when it comes to the folks I love. There’s something about the INTENSE hurt and pain and confusion when feelings are hurt versus a quick bump on the head or scrape on the knee.

Maybe that’s because it brings back my own hurts, but the other day, I watched my granddaughter rush up to a little friend she was excited to see, then abruptly make a u-turn and run toward her mother. Her lip quivering, Mary Jane said that the friend she was so happy to see did not want to be her best friend today.

Oh. My. Gosh. You would think something much worse had happened by my reaction. I was beside myself. I worried this hurt would close Mary Jane’s heart, that she would be guarded and never rush up to a friend again with arms wide open because of the chance of being hurt. I’m a little embarrassed to admit I couldn’t let it go all night, even waking up at all hours and obsessing over it.

Later, a few of Mary Jane’s friends told her she couldn’t play with them. Broken hearted, Mary Jane again ran to her mother, this time the tears flowing and sobs rocking her little chest. She was devastated.

We’ve all been on this side of society, excluded in one way or another. It’s part of growing up, coming to grips with being left out. This is common in childhood, right?

Not in Mary Clare Kent Holm’s world.

Mary Clare wasn’t aware of the whole scenario, only that a child was crying. Like, really crying. When she heard the yowling, she immediately ran over and made sure Mary Jane wasn’t hurt. Then she asked if her own child had been mean. Then she marched right over to the group of children playing together and announced in no uncertain terms that they were ALL best friends today and that they were ALL going to play together. She called the children by name, making sure they all understood this. Period.

Mary Clare wasn’t in charge of any of these children except her own. A few of these children’s parents were easily within earshot. She didn’t care. She didn’t accuse anyone or shame anyone. She just stated how is was going to be. In no uncertain terms.

I love this young mother’s world. What a rock star.

* * *
Ferris Robinson is the author of three children’s books, “The Queen Who Banished Bugs,” “The Queen Who Accidentally Banished Birds,” and “Call Me Arthropod” in her pollinator series “If Bugs Are Banished.” “Making Arrangements” is her first novel. “Dogs and Love - Stories of Fidelity” is a collection of true tales about man’s best friend. Her website is and you can download a free pollinator poster there. She is the editor of The Lookout Mountain Mirror and The Signal Mountain Mirror.

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