Sorry

Monday, May 13, 2013

Challenge: Issue a public apology.

I have known what I would write about today since the day I saw the list of topics for the month of May. There is something that I have held in my heart for close to twenty years, and I just can't shake it.

Twenty years ago, I did nothing. I had a friend who needed me, and I didn't step up to help her. 

I was in kindergarten. There was a little girl in my class who I considered my best friend. She had long black hair that was so shiny. It was straight and fell almost to her waist. My six year old self was very jealous of her beautiful hair. We liked to play on the jungle gym together, and I liked her because she didn't make up stories. For some reason, it was the year when all the kids competed about what they had. If you had a new box of crayons, then surely someone else in your class would claim that they had an entire treasure chest of crayons that glowed in the dark back home.

Anyway...she was honest.

I don't remember her name, but I do remember what everyone called her: Booger Girl. I was very confused. I had never seen her have boogers nor I had ever seen her pick her nose. I may never know why someone decided to start calling her Booger Girl. 

People started asking me why I was friends with Booger Girl. Again, I was so confused. She was so nice! And fun! But, I didn't want to be known as Booger Girl, too. So, I never stopped it. I never said, "No, don't call her that." 

Then, I did something even worse. 

A boy came up to me at recess and said I needed to stop being friends with Booger Girl. And then I said it. "I'm not friends with Booger Girl." I immediately felt terrible. I had joined the side of the mean kids. It wasn't my intention. I still very much liked her. I just didn't want to be made fun of everyday the way that she was.

She had heard what I said, and immediately, a solid brick wall went up between the two of us. I would find her in secret, and quietly ask her to please be my friend again. Multiple times. But, the damage was done. She wanted nothing to do with me.

She was such a strong little girl. I remember playing with some other friends, and she was sitting on top of the jungle gym. Kids were calling her Booger Girl. She just at up there saying they were wrong and ignored them. I remember thinking she was so brave because I would surely start crying.

We weren't in school together the next year, so I don't know what ever happend to Booger Girl. I hope that she has grown up to be a strong woman and that she only vaguely remembers being teased in Kindergarten. I wish she knew I were sorry. That I haven't forgotten after all these years.

I hope and pray every day that my children will be much much stronger than I. 
-k

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