Displaced Stay At Home Californian in rural N. Carolina

The Many Faces of Joy

The Many Faces of Joy

Saturday, May 14, 2011


My kid goes to a school that is very diverse. These are the conversations we have over bowls of strawberries in the morning. "Evan has 2 sisters that live in China. He also has a brother in 3rd grade. Aoi has a sister in Japan but he also has another sister at our school. Adonis has 2 mothers and no fathers, in his family two ladies got married. Alex's daddy came from Ecuador to visit him, he lives very far away." There are so few prejudices in the first grade. Everything comes from an innocent and honest place.

I went to a very tiny private SDA school when I was in the first grade. My brother and I were diversity cubed, being half Korean, twins and coming from a single parent household. I remember in the second grade there was a girl named Lori whose parents were divorced. She was the most diverse kid that year. She told all of us after Christmas vacation that she got 2 new outfits from the "free" clothing store. We were all confused until we found out she meant the Dorcas which was our church's equivalent of the Salvation Army.

I remember getting outfits from that store too. I remember my grandmother remaking the outfits so they would look like they were made for me, she was a very good seamstress. But I remember hiding in the bathroom one day because the girls in my class told me I looked like I was wearing diapers with my elastic waist pants. I remember crying because I didn't have a pair of Ditto or Jordache jeans.

I remember when I was in the 5th and 6th grade going to a uniform school in Jamaica. Even though we all wore the same uniform to school, the kids could pick out the poor kids uniforms as opposed to the uniforms bought at a uniform store. I remember one day a girl getting taunted because her Mom made her uniform and it was ugly. She punched one of the girls taunting her and got suspended for starting a fist fight.

I look at all the stories of bullying and picking on kids that are in the news. We had a lot of bullying growing up, but it didn't get a lot of attention. It was called "just being a kid". It was taken care of by beating the bully up at school or waiting for them on the way home and beating them up then.

The other day my 4 year old was playing with some kids and they were bossing her around and telling her what to do and where to go and how to get there and she got red in the face and spit out "You are just a buller!" at which point she ran up to me and said, "Mommy what is a buller?"
I thought for a second and then I replied, "A buller is someone who doesn't eat their vegetables". She ran back over to the kids and shouted back, "Don't be a buller, eat your vegetables!"

1 comment:

Zack said...

Good Answer!
I listened to a frustrated friend tell me her son was being bullied for being different and started retaliating. Now, because he retaliated, there is fallout. Before, when he was just being bullied, everything was normal and everyone looked the other way.
There has to be a better way of teaching us how to get along. Maybe that should be an academic subject?! :)