“I only belong in your heart”
I looked at my daughter’s face as tears welled up in her eyes. I asked her what was wrong.
“I don’t want to go to school because I don’t feel like I belong there anymore,” she cried as tears rolled down her face.
“Of course you belong,” I said. “You’re an important member of your class and the whole school.”
“No, I only belong in your heart.”
Then she sobbed.
My beautiful 8 year old daughter, then told me that a group of girls at her school wouldn’t let her play with them. According to her, they were being rude and telling lies about her. And so, she felt like she didn’t belong there anymore.
After we had talked a few things through, I asked her what she meant when she told me she belonged in my heart.
She replied: “Because we are connected, heart to heart.”
Now to explain to you what that means, I have to take you into a world of Barbie movies. I know, I know — Barbie movies are not award-winning material. But my daughter loves them and one particular movie is very dear to her heart — and mine.
It’s called “Barbie and the Diamond Castle”. Basically, it’s a story of two best friends who grow flowers for a living. They both love music. One day they find two heart-shaped stones which they turn into necklaces to symbolise their friendship. One of the songs they sing during the movie is about their friendship and the chorus goes like this:
I feel connected (connected), protected (protected), it’s like you’re standing right with me all the time.
You hear me (you hear me), you’re near me (you’re near me),
and everything else is gonna be alright.
‘Cause nothing can break this, nothing can break this, nothing can break this tie.
This song is one of ‘our songs’, and my daughter still loves to sing it to me, in full.
The reason this song is so special for my daughter and I is we first saw this movie when she started school. That was a very emotionally draining year for the whole family, as my daughter cried every day for three months. Every day. Some days the teacher had to prise her from me, which was not pleasant for any of us.
But through it all, we used to remind each other that we were connected like the two girls in the Barbie movie — even when we were apart. We even bought one of those ‘best-friend’ necklaces in the shape of a heart that you split in two and give to your best friend. She would go to school wearing her half under her uniform and I would wear my half for the day. It was our way of ‘being connected, heart to heart’.
Three years later, she was standing before me, with tears rolling down her face, telling me she belonged in my heart because we were connected.
She knew that no matter what happened at school, or anywhere else, that she would always have a place in my heart.
I wasn’t happy to hear that she was feeling so upset. But I was happy to know that she feels like she ‘belongs in my heart’, regardless of whatever else is taking place around her.
Happily, that day in the playground was a ‘one-off’ and she is back to playing with her friends and going to school with a smile on her face.
But it was a valuable experience for her, to not just ‘know’ that she was important to us at home, but to really feel and believe that she can always count on us to make her feel special, loved and cherished.
Forever connected, heart to heart.
Side note: For those of you interested in the rest of the Barbie movie plot, the two girls stumble across a girl called Melody who is trapped in a mirror. She tells them a story about how she lived with three muses in the Diamond Castle until one day, one of the muses turned evil because she wanted the music to herself. The other two muses hid the Diamond Castle before they were turned into stone. So of course the two girls head off to stop the evil muse, before she finds the Diamond Castle and destroys music (and the world). And of course, everything works out in the end.
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