Jolene was the sprout of every girl who had ever hurt my feelings, reincarnated as a preschooler.
Yet my daughter was inexplicably devoted.
Ever hopeful, she would greet her wee frien-emy warmly.
Jolene would shriek and hide under the table. She would ignore–then punish cruelly if my child played with anyone else.
When confronted, Jolene would blame her actions on her delicate emotional state. “I’m really missing my mom today,” she would say, copping a sad face. “That’s why I’m making bad choices.”
But she would look me in the eye in a way that tipped her tiny hand.