“When I crumble, a stronger version of me rises from the ruins”
We spend four years of building memories. I remember the old classrooms, the chairs, the blackboard, and the windows across the wall. The door faced the yard where we all played during recess and lunch breaks.
Our First and Second grade teacher was the same lady. So pretty, and serious about the way she taught. She was not as serious or tough as the third-grade teacher, who was her sister. Ms. Garcia, the Fourth-grade teacher was genuinely nice and sweet. It is funny because from her I do not have many memories.
Our minds tend to create a file of the negative impact someone leaves in our heart. It is not often the same for the good of interactions. The damage from negative thinking is all too frequent. Being tough, too serious, too rude or intolerant tends to stick often in our brain.
Nothing is more vivid in my memory than the students from my classroom and other grades that made my life at school almost impossible to bear. I was too skinny, and that made me a target for rude jokes and cruel comparison with cartoon characters with similar looks. I often was not allowed to play with others because the color of my eyes. They were different color somewhat uncommon. Those words and the rejection wounded my self-esteem for years.
I did not know at the time but a boy across the ocean in a different country and a different school was experiencing the same ordeal. Not because he was skinny, quite the opposite. Name calling and rejection hurt him while he was growing up. He kept the anguish to himself to avoid embarrassment.
It wasn’t your fault, beloved schools, you sheltered and keep us from the rain and the storms that bring the beautiful rainbows.The hurtful memories are from those ignorant, mean, and mischievous kids that turned the new words they were learning to spell into weapons against others.
Life brought that handsome, blue-eyes, tall and now trim boy and me together. I still look almost as skinny but not quite like then. My eyes are still green, I get compliments, I am loved, and accepted. We both succeed in life and love. We have beautiful children and a house full of joy.
School years are tough. It is okay. Those circumstances make us the strong adults we are today. We do not remember you with regret or pain, but we are happy we don’t have to go through those years again.
My husband always points you out when we visit with his family in the countryside. I may come visit you one day. Bitter sweet times!
Stay there in our memory, for now.