The past couple of weeks I’ve been digging into my past. I actually thought I didn’t have many childhood memories- turns out once I remembered a few, just about everything flooded back to me. What the reality is- is that I didn’t want to remember it. Not that I had some horrific childhood that would be the basis for a Law and Order episode… but my friends paint such a lovely picture of theirs, that mine feels gritty and painful in comparison.
When I was in fourth grade, I was big for my age- mostly in height, some in weight- but I was healthy. I looked back at a school photo to make sure that is an accurate statement. It is.
There was a girl in my class- Sara. She had a Mickey Mouse watch with a red leather band. She was tall too, blonde, and mean. She picked on me all the time. So much so, that she’d even comment on the length of time it would take me to pee (no wonder I get pee shy in public restrooms).
So, I had this teacher, Mrs. Rodenburg. I don’t remember much of her. I remember her hair. I remember she won the “Christian Teacher of the Year” award. I remember she called me names- like elephant in front of the class. She would say that I would break chairs if I sat on them. As a result, if I didn’t sit at my desk, I’d sit in a corner on the ground during our “free time”.
I hated going to school. As it was, that wasn’t even the school I should have gone to- the public school I was enrolled in called a day (maybe 2) before school started to say they were full and couldn’t take me. I got bussed to a Lutheran school. That’s where my teacher called me elephant. That’s where she won her “Christian Teacher of the Year” award. That’s where I got teased endlessly by Sara.
The interesting thing about elephants is that though the common saying is “an elephant never forgets”, it’s quite the opposite. They don’t have a good memory and don’t ponder on things for any length of time. Elephants have thick skin though. Me, I’m not an elephant. Just a thin skinned girl finally taking the time to deal with past hurts.