Friday, April 07, 2006

It's a mean, mean world

Life isn't so easy for my easy child.

My mother picked her up from school yesterday. She has a way of disarming kids, so that they eventually talk about things they don't want to talk about. I think it has something to do with ice cream.

At that same moment, I was talking to one of my daughter's teachers. We discussed some trends we've seen with her behavior and possible solutions. When I got off the phone, my mother called and told me about the conversation she had with my daughter.

My heart is broken. Why does the world have to be so mean for kids?

My child is very much like me as a child. She is imaginative and often "in her own world." We just have odd thoughts richoceting around in our heads and it's distracting! She is tall for her age and looks like your classic porcelain doll, with ivory skin and a mass of jet black curls. All of this makes her very unique and memorable. Unfortunately, it also makes her a target.

She has a very open, loving, trusting personality. She doesn't understand why anyone would not want to be her friend. I remember once when she was little, she climbed into the ball pit at Chuckee Cheese's. She said the the little girl in there, "Do you want to be my friend and play with me?" The girl said, "No." My daughter turned towards me and yelled from the ball pit, "SHE SAID NO!! SHE DOESN'T WANT TO BE MY FRIEND!!" She was completely flabberghasted and wanted to share her shock.

Now, she just cries.

Apparently, she is sitting at the back of the room in most of her classes, with girls she once considered friends. They discovered that she is easily distracted by noise. It completely disrupts her brain. So, they make noise. Incessantly.

"I'm the kid everyone likes to play tricks on," she said. "And they laugh and think it's funny. Not many people like me."

That made my mother cry. It made the teacher cry, too, when I asked for her help. I cried, remembering that pain all too well. A classroom of kids laughing at the jokes being made at my expense. Name calling. Sneers. The delighted looks as they broke your heart. What was fun about that? What was it about me that they felt I deserved that? I have never understood. Words really can hurt as much as sticks and stones.

And my child is living it, too. I enlisted the teacher's help, in such a way as my daughter's name won't be known as the "victim." She felt so bad for her. She's just been telling me what a spectacular kid she is, then we learn about this private hell she's been enduring.

You just want to hold them and protect them all of their lives. I hate that I can't. The school does anti-bully activities and such, but something just doesn't get through.

If you have kids or even just know kids, make sure they know the damage their words or unkindness can bring. I have the scars still, thirty-some-odd years later. I have memories I'll never share with anyone because I'm too ashamed. And it's happening to another generation. There are other ways to deal with someone who is a little different. Hurting them isn't the answer -- getting to know them is.

For now, I want to keep the world away from her, even though that's not realistic. I'd do just about anything to take away that pain.


Gingers Mom said...

Poor baby. That just breaks my heart.

NWO said...

Good mom. She'll get through it with your love. WTG

Blogget Jones said...

Thanks. I love being a mom, but things like this are what makes it so hard. One of her teachers is helping, but I hope she really follows through.

This little girl is such a spectacular personality. I've often joked that she's "born to perform" but it's really true. I hopoe none of this crap she's going through squelches any part of her personality.

It all breaks my heart, too!