February 17, 2011

It said kick me please

It began, seemingly innocent, in kindergarten. One girl teased me about my lunch. She got poptarts, I didn't.  The teacher sent a note home.

Grade one, my dressy was too frilly, too pink.

It didn't stop there.  One thing after another, my hair, my glasses, my sisters, my mom, my clothes.

By grade 7, I was calling goodbye, closing the door in front of me and hiding in the laundry room.  Kids are cruel and thoughtless. I wanted nothing to do with any of them.

High school had the worst and best example. Sitting in a circle in drama class, we were saying what elementary school we attended.  A, A, A, A, B, B, B, B, C.

I was alone. In a sea of kids that all knew each other.  No friends, no buddies.  After staying at one elementary school, being a school surrounded by people I didn't know.  Teenagers who I had met either moments or hours ago.

Once again, it began. The teasing followed me through high school and out the door with graduation.  Sure, it decreased by grade twelve, but it was still there. It still bothered me.

Now I watch when I take Turtle to school. I listen to her talk about her day. I feel her pain when she tells her dad "she won't let me be part of her club."

Twenty years later, I see myself in my loving, happy daughter and I want to hold her tight and never let her leave home again.  I won't. I know I can't.  I know that this is another life lesson she has needs to learn.

I can't help wishing that she didn't have to.

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