Last night, The Teenager tearfully informed me that there was a nasty rumor about her going around town. She's heartbroken and disgusted and indignant, because; she isn't guilty of what the kids are saying about her. She's also hurt that her friends would participate in spreading the rumor, despite the fact that they all know her well enough to know that the story isn't true.
I feel terrible for her. I'm also somewhat shocked that it has taken almost four years in a small school for her to be the focus of an untrue rumor; generally speaking, small schools are the breeding ground for made-up tales, told at the expense of teen aged girls, and, I would have expected her to be a victim of the phenomenon far earlier than the week before the start of her senior year.
Anyway, I did what I could to help. I hugged her and spoke soothingly of karma, and, of bravery in the face of adversity, and, of holding her head high since she knows her Truth. I also offered to bust some heads and to make some phone calls and all the usual knee-jerk reactionary things that a parent offers during this type of situation, and, to her credit, she refused each one.
I know she will come through this, and, when she does; she will have a greater appreciation for a little thing we like to call "the benefit of the doubt". Hopefully, she will be kind to friends going through the same situation and will be less quick to repeat rumors, herself (not that I think she was a vicious gossip before this, just, a normal teenager).
In the meanwhile, I will continue to support her and to find ways to make her smile. You know, while privately casting hex spells on all who besmirch her lily-white reputation.
As one does.