Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Back Down Memory Lane...

I just finished reading Serenity's blog for today, and it triggered a childhood memory for me.

When I was younger, I went to Catholic school. From Kindergarten to 4th grade. Until I decided I wanted to go to school with the kids in my neighborhood. I had rehearsed all my reasons, because I just knew my mom was going to veto me. But she said yes, without me having to argue about it (later I figured out that they were tired of paying the tuition and were gonna suggest public school to me anyway. LOL!)

Anywho, as you can imagine, I was one of the only chips in the cookie at this school. In my kindergarten class, there was one other little black girl. Then she left, and my cousin came for 1st and 2nd grades, and it was just the two of us. She was gone by 3rd grade, and then I think there was one little boy. Needless to say, there weren't more than 2 black children in my class at a time. However, we did have some older black children at the school.

There was this girl, I don't even remember her name. I don't even remember what grade she was in, I just know that she was older. She rode the bus with us. For some reason, she felt the need to tell me on a daily to weekly basis that I had big lips or that I wasn't pretty. I remember her sitting on the bus in the back with my cousin (whom I'm sure she didn't know what my cousin), discussing my lips. OK, why? I only remember bits and pieces of this, because I think after that year she was gone. But imagine it that had really stuck with me? She was probably dumb as a box of rocks. And she's really lucky my brothers and sisters were not there...she might have a limp right now. Nobody picks on the baby of the family! :lol:

But I digress. Thinking about it as an adult, it saddens me that her parents would give her such a message of self hatred. Because - hello? - you're black, too! We're in this sea of white kids, and you feel it necessary to sit and talk about somebody else who's black? Nonsense and tom foolery.

I just don't understand why anybody would feel the need to reinforce negative feelings on a child. I know my aunt used to always make comments about my weight when I was younger...but I pretty much ignored her. Again, what if I couldn't ignore her? I had chubby cheeks and I was not a skinny child from the 3rd through 5th grades, but once I hit puberty and had that growth spurt, everything evened itself out. I'm sure my mom knew that would happen and that's why she wasn't much worried about it. I mean, for the love of God, I was probably a size 5/6 throughout junior high and high school. But let me gain 5 lbs and Aunt Letha had something to say. Mind you, she was skinny by no means...so, wth? I remember weighing 118 lbs my freshman year of high school (I remember because my track coach had a friend at S.U. who was doing a study on body fat percentage in teenage girls, and she used our stats). If I weighed 118 pounds right now, trust and believe, you would all be signing me up for Intervention.

If I had been at that park that day, I think I would have done the same thing Serenity did. Kids need to hear positive messages! Should you enable bad habits? Of course not. If you see that your child has a problem with overeating or doesn't have a healthy view of being active/exercising, it's certainly something to be addressed. I don't suspect this is the case with the little girl who is the subject of her blog. I wish I could find that little girl and just give her a hug.

I wonder where the Mean Girl is now? Probably somewhere lookin' like an ashy chicken head. Meanwhile, people are injecting their lips with collagen to get them to look like mine. Who's laughing now?? :)


Serenity3-0 said...

I'm sure when we all think about our childhood, we can think of that one kid that eitehr picked on us or that everyone picked on. I realize now how self esteem is eitehr built or destroyed and it usually begins with something in childhood. I think I purposely pump Tyler up. I mean, you can't possibly convince him he's not the best reader on the planet or that he's not great at Math. Now if I can only get him to "think" he's the most well behaved kid in teh school. LMAO

Tazzee said...

That post took me back down memory lane too.

Marilie said...

LOL @ Serenity! Tyler will get there. He's a boy. You know they are just special creatures...my mom can tell you all kinds of stories of bringing up my brothers. Especially Jay - he just had no fear. You could punish him, no matta - he's still gonna run over it, climb it, fall over it...he was just all over the place, from the stories I've been told. He can't even wonder where my nephew got it from. LOL