"Ok," I said to my daughter as she bent over her afternoon bowl of Cinnamon Life. "What's going on with you and J.?" J. is the ringleader of a group of third-graders at her camp—a position Lucy herself occupied the previous summer. Now she's the one on the outs, and every day at snack time, she tells me all about it, while I offer up the unhelpful advice I've been doling out all summer long. Find other girls to sit with. Ignore them. Be yourself. Be patient. It does get better.
"She's bossy," Lucy complained.
"Mmm-hmm," I said as I returned the milk to the refrigerator, thinking that my daughter can be a little on the bossy side herself.
"She's turning everyone against me," Lucy muttered, a tear rolling down her cheek. "She's mean, she's bad at math, she's terrible at kickball. And...she's fat."