Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Don't Laugh At Me

Most of my childhood memories are good ones. Some of my school memories however, not so much. I went to a "church school" for the first six years of my life.Those church kids were brutal. I do have to say though, it was mostly a couple of boys who made my life hell. I am hard of hearing. I inherited it from my dad, who inherited it from his mom and so on. As a child, I wore two huge behind the ear, hearing aids. I was easy prey for the bullies. It was so bad, I refused to cut my hair or wear a ponytail that showed my ears. When the kids would say to me, "What? Are ya deaf?" Instead of coming back with a snappy answer, (I had zero self confidence back then, but look at me now!) I would simply nod and try to escape before they could see me crying. Sometimes they would deliberately speak in a low voice knowing I would not be able to hear them. If I asked them to repeat themselves, they would repeat it in a SCREAMING voice. I caught on to that one quickly and learned to just keep walking. At the end of 6th grade, I had started to turn into a pretty cute girl. Those boys stopped tormenting me and started liking me. They would smile at me and want to sit by me during lunch. I couldn't stand the sight of them. Every year I begged my parents to let me attend public school. Every year they said no. When I told my dad that the boys that had tormented me all those years were now flirting with me, that's all he needed to hear. I was out of there! Sweet relief. I can't say that was the end of it though. Through the years I still endure ignorant comments from people. Now though, I know how to handle it. Usually with humor. Hopefully when they walk away, they will have learned something. I know I've learned a lot over the years. When Landon was born, I didn't ask if he had ten toes and fingers. I asked if he could hear. When they told me yes, it was one of the sweetest things I had ever heard in my life. I didn't want him to have to go through what I had gone through. I thought for sure that he would have a better chance of escaping the bullies of the world. I was wrong. Yesterday he was suppose to play flag football after school. He came home in tears. He said he was never playing football again. When I tried to pry what happened out of him, he made a weak excuse that he was quiting because he didn't get to play first. I knew that wasn't true. He played baseball all summer. There were several teams and they took turns playing first. It was never a problem for him. I also recognized the "weak excuse" ploy. I used to do that when I was little. I would rather my parents think my weak excuse was the cause of my tears, than have my mom call the bully's mom. That would be a nightmare! So yesterday, my heart was breaking for Landon. I don't know what happened. I don't know what was said. When I asked if I could make a few calls, he begged me not to and stood firmly by his weak excuse. He is hurting and I feel helpless. I want to call the other kids. I want to call the moms. I want to call a meeting. I want to do something. But, I won't. Not this time. I will let Landon work it out himself. Like he asked me to do. The fantasy mom in me wants to fly to the school in my pink cape, swoop up all the bullies and hang them up by their underwear on the gym walls. Then I would fly through the classrooms and gather all the bullied kids in my arms and take them to the gym. There I would let the bullied kids torment the bullies as long as their hearts desired. Not nice. Not the answer. I know. But, hey it's just a fantasy. Hmmm...anybody have a pink cape I can borrow?