Waiting for the light to turn, I asked if there was a mall around or a Chuck E. Cheese or something. She tells me there's a place called Power Station that has games and videos and stuff. Sounds cool as she describes a game akin to the Claw thing but it uses a key and the prizes are iPods, iPhones and iPads! Sweet! Then, she says they have Skee Ball. Aww yeah! I am in! Skee Ball is my absolute favorite, I tell her. I'd spend all my quarters on it. She laughed - 'they don't use quarters'. Pfft! Whatever they use, all of 'em are being used on Skee Ball. Until I saw Dance Dance Revolution. Holla! I love me some DDR. I suck at it, but I still love it.
We spent some time playing Skee Ball, DDR, Deal or No Deal and a couple of games that give you tickets for spinning wheels. We collected over 1,200 points (11,000 shy of the Easy Bake Oven I really wanted. And, in her infinite wisdom, she asks me "Don't you have a real oven in your house?" Pfft. Not. The. Point.). I'm pretty sure we spent more time hemming and hawing over the prizes than we did playing the games to get the points. We got Friendship Bracelets, birthstone rings, pencils and more Tootsie Rolls than I've ever collected trick or treating. What a great time.
Then, we headed to the food court for lunch. Now, let me rewind to a couple of weeks ago...we're in a group session, playing Pictionary and eating pizza. She answers her sister's question with "No, I'm fat." My head whipped around so fast! I was stunned. She's thin as a rail and those words coming from her were so surprising. And, it made me sad. When I dropped her off at home, I told her we are going to talk about her statement. I really wasn't sure how to handle that. I'm not her mom. I'm her friend. Her friend that has her own body image struggles. The only thing I could do would be to start a conversation, a dialogue and hope my message gets across.
So, back to lunch at Panda Express in the food court. I asked if she remembered her comment and my reaction - "Yeah, you were MAD!" I told her the comment made me mad. I couldn't believe she thought she was fat. I was honest - the comment made me mad because she boiled everything she is down to one thing - being fat. I told her she is so much more than that! She's smart and a good friend and a good sister and she's helpful and friendly. I gave her examples of each trait I listed. I told her of my own issues with body image. She told me I was beautiful and nice and she liked that I showed up for mentoring. That was the sweetest moment ever. I stressed how the comment made me angry, not her. She said she understood; and I truly hope she does.
We'll have a group session on Saturday and I'll follow-up with her. I'm so glad we were able to talk about body image and what we think of ourselves. And each other.