My mind wandered a bit today as I thought about my oldest child's birthday in October.
He turns 7 this year.
His pants had a hole in the knee today.
I remember a lot of things about being 7.
I got my first 'real' bike on my birthday.
The Pink Schwinn.
The day after (I am not really sure if it was the day after for certain, but I remember it being almost the same day as my birthday) my parents told me that they were getting a divorce.
One more year and I would be baptized.
(Ironically, this is a photo of me in my baptism dress...purple. Pretty huh?)
I am not quite sure, but 7 is one of the birthdays that sticks out in my mind, where I grew from being a child, and carefree--to being not so much that way.
I want to make that different for my kids, but this post is not about that.
This post is about being 10.
Being 10 and getting called a 'slob'.
Being 10 and being called a 'slob' by your 4th grade teacher.
So, as I discussed earlier in this post, when I was 7, my parents split.
That left us with a single mother, who worked really hard for us.
We lived across the street from my Grandma and Grandpa.
There wasn't much money, and what little money we had was spent on necessities,
food, shelter, and clothing.
Many of my clothes came from Sears at the time.
My mother worked for a subsidiary of Sears, therefore she got a discount, and they had some sort of amazing children's clothing dealio (I think they still have it!).
In late spring that year, when the school year is getting close to being over,
(and school clothes are near being worn out...)
I went to Kmart with my grandma.
We were in the women's clothing section when I saw THE t-shirt.
It was pink.
It had a kitty on it.
I wanted it SO much!
It was a little big for me (of course) but they style back then was to wear the big tee and tie a knot in the bottom and wear leggings.
She bought it for me.
I was THRILLED.
I couldn't wait to wear it to school the next day.
I put it on, slipped on my black leggings (which had holes in the knees).
Tied the knot, and was off for the day.
I cannot remember how the conversation turned,
or what would possess my (male) teacher to say what he did to me that day.
(In an inner-city school none the less.)
But he did.
"You are such a slob."
All because of my big pink kitty shirt and my holey black leggings.
I was embarrassed.
I know the other kids heard.
What an ass this guy was.
I knew it then, I know it now.
What I learned?
I will protect my kids to the moon and back.
Mean words hurt a lot from kids.
Those same mean words hurt a lot more coming from an adult.
If that man EVER crosses my path, I may punch him.
And that even through all of this, even though the memory still hurts, when I looked back at my 7 year old today, and he had a hole in the left knee of his pants, I let him go to school just like that, and I smiled.