She is at a friend’s house to play. She’s six and she hates peanut butter but eats it anyway because that’s what her friend’s mom serves for lunch. She stays quiet about her preference.

She doesn’t want to trouble anyone.

On her ninth birthday she listens through thin walls as her parents fight about nothing and everything. She knows there isn’t anything she can do to make them love each other again.

She feels a sense of shame that she can’t explain.

She turns thirteen and is the third best friend of two fighting girls who both tell her their side. She feels overwhelmed with the middle-ness of it all . . .

I’m writing at (in)courage today about a girl living the try-hard life. I would love it if you would join me there and enter to win one of 5 copies of Graceful.