Today, two times, someone picked on Camille. The blood that rushed through my veins was hot and boiling. That animal instinct kicked in and all I wanted to do, in all honesty, was smack the other kid for his cruelty to my child. Obviously I didn't, it wasn't his fault that he was a brat, it was his mother that deserved the smack as she watched on with a fake smile as her son continued to run into my daughter with the car that he pushed her off of in the first place. She desperately tried to get it back. I ran over, snatched her, and made certain that my opinion of his behavior was heard in ear shot of his mother.
I realize that these things happen. Kids are mean. Sometimes kids just have to learn how to not be mean by acting mean once in a while. Sometimes kids act mean because they have parents that are so afraid to discipline that they aren't being taught any other way.
I know I can't protect Camille forever but you better know that I will protect her as long as I can.
I was that kid that no one liked. Not for anything I did, but for what my parents did. At the time, in the early 1980's divorce was very taboo in the church. I went to a private school before and then after this change of status in my family. My sister's and I were well accepted before but the aftershock of the events I had no control of sent a wave of discrimination that no child should have felt. When I say no one liked me, trust me, I'm not being dramatic.
I was the child that was never invited to birthday parties.
I was the child that no one chose to be on their teams during P.E. Because no one wanted me on their team, the teacher would just have me sit out for that class.
I was the child that no one played with at the playground.
I was the child that became invisible.
It was bad enough that the kids didn't like me but to make matters worse, the teachers didn't like me either and my parents were so consumed by their own drama that they created, that no one really noticed that downward spiral that finally hit rock bottom by my sixth grade year. I had actually become as invisible as one child could. I can remember sitting in class, and staring at test but never taking them. I can remember the teacher telling me that Jared**, the boy with severe disabilities was smarter than me.
I simply gave up.
I failed sixth grade. I actually received a 0 for the entire year because I refused to do anything. All the adults were so tangled within themselves that no one realized how far I had fallen. Looking back, if someone had just caught on, I think one would have diagnosed me with severe depression. It was awful and an ugly part of my life that is now very hush hush. No one talks about that time and when they do, my Mom cries because she didn't know it was that bad.
I tell you this so you can fully understand this fire deep down inside me to protect my offspring. I do not want any of my children to walk in those shoes. I am fully committed to providing for my child what I didn't have: A healthy loving relationship with their father. A home that is safe and peaceful and free from yelling and screaming. Security, enough that they know, inside these walls, I will never let in things that will disrupt their lives.
So today, as these two children, being children, picked on my daughter, that protective instinct became so overwhelming but I knew that this is a part of growing up and she knew that all she had to do was look over her little shoulder and see her Mama running to protect her.
***that comment that was made by this teacher was obviously closed minded and demeaning to all children born with special needs.