Friday, January 20, 2012


"Mom, do my ears stick out?" Alexis asked as she was gazing into the mirror.
"No, sweetie!  Your ears are perfect" I said as a familiar pit in my stomach formed.
"Billy said they stick out, but I don't think so." She is still looking in the mirror, holding her hair half up and turning her head back and forth to check them out.
First grade!  She's only in first grade and I already have to deal with this.  I don't remember getting made fun of until I was older but once it started it was brutal.  So bad that the police were involved in one incident.  I was made fun of ruthlessly for being flat chested.  I was 11.  Back then girls didn't even hit puberty or grow boobs until they were at least 13.  I was made fun of for having hairy arms.  I was made fun of for having a long face.  My pants were pulled down as I was getting off the bus.  Girls cornered me in the locker room asking me why I didn't like some guy.  One girl stole my purse, it had my glasses and a key chain that my parents brought back from vacation.  This was all during middle school and I hated going to school every single day.  I was not popular and I did not have a lot of friends.  I was insecure, anorexic, depressed, lonely, and hated my life.
The bullies got the best of me and when I hear that my daughter is already hearing mean things it really upsets me.  I told Alexis that she is beautiful and to not get upset by what other people say.  She said she really didn't care about it, shrugged her shoulders and quickly moved on.  Nothing was said again.  Fast forward one month to the day I volunteered in her class.  Alexis was so excited and of course so was I.  She is only at school 3 days a week and home schooled the other 2 but those 3 days she is gone seem to last forever.  Her group came to the floor where I was sitting waiting to start their assignment.  Alexis and I giggled out of excitement and Billy said, "Why are you always so happy when your mom is here?"  I said it's because we love each other and we love to spend time together.  He said he preferred being alone and not with his parents.  I started to see a little insight into this boys life.  Then he asked why Alexis had a shiny head and I had a bumpy head.  Confused I just shrugged it off and tried to get the group to focus.  He wasn't ready to let this go.  "Why do you have bumps on your face" he asked while pointing to my 'blemishes'.  "You know, those pimples."  Ok buddy!  You are not taking me down!  I did my best to keep my middle school feelings deep down and speak to him like the grown up that I am.  Um, Billy... that is very rude to say to someone.  That makes me sad and it hurt my feelings.  You shouldn't point things out to people, ok?  I know, the fact that I have such bad acne is an issue but that is not the point right now!  (At the age of 4, it would be acceptable for a child to point out but not at 7)  Well, about 15 minutes before I was going to leave, Alexis got a tummy ache.  The same one that she has been getting for weeks now.  It hurts really bad, she cries, goes to the bathroom and is ok.  She continued to cry the rest of the time saying she didn't want me to leave and she hated school.  I left, got in my car, called my husband and cried just as hard as she did.  What if these tummy aches are more than just nerves.  What if she has some GI issues going on and I'm just brushing it off to emotions?  It turned out that Billy later called her and some of her friends some pretty mean names.    He made fun of her for crying at school.  (glad he didn't see me crying) Luckily, she has a fantastic teacher and the situation was addressed immediately. Alexis didn't even tell me that he said mean things, one of the other moms did.  I was telling my husband about it and I told him I was so confused why Alexis didn't say anything to me and his response was, "Welcome to parenthood... you'll be the last to know everything."  Seriously?  Already?
I can't protect every minute of her life.  I can't keep bullies away from her.  I can only pray that she will be strong enough to ignore them and not let any words affect her the way they affected me.  I can only pray that she will be more sensitive to others and never tease or bully anyone herself.  I can only pray that she knows God is with her all the time and will help her through anything.


  1. Ouch. Your heart just breaks for your kids. You'd give anything to keep them from suffering the way you did as a kid. I know that feeling WELL. I'm so sorry Alexis has a bully in her class. Lexie had one last year - one that would actually physically hurt her. She wouldn't talk to me much about it either at first. Then when it got really bad, she came to me. Alexis is probably just trying to take care of the situation herself. Just let her know that when she's ready to have someone else intervene, you're there to help.

  2. Oh no! I am ALREADY dreading this! I absolutely despise the fact that kids have to put up with this! And at such a young age!! Your sweet Alexis is so lucky she has a mom like you to love on her and tell her she is the greatest!!<3 XOXO!!

  3. Reading this brought me back to my childhood and man, does it hurt. I am so sorry That Alexis is already going though that. She a beautiful girl and sounds like she is very strong. I will pray for her

  4. Dang those mean little boys!! Way to teach her how to deal with them now...because as you know, those kind of people never seem to grow out of it and are still like that when they are 40!
    Good job Karen...keep supporting her and building her self-esteem.


    (Another possible reason why she didn't tell you about the mean name calling was because she let it 'roll off her back', it just didn't impact her enough to tell you, forgotten by the time she got home. Ya know? Maybe? Maybe in her little mind she remembered what you said and was like, "My mom told me to not care what people say about me" almost a 'non-issue in her mind. Even though in yours it is a big issue, as every protective (good) parent would feel. Just a thought.)

  5. Wow, I'm so sorry you had to deal with bullies growing up and that Alexis is already experiencing it. I am fearful for my daughter who is in the first grade right now. Kids now days are so much meaner and have no class. I hope all this works out and the boy learns some manners.

  6. i cant stand bullies. my youngest was being bullied last year and i had to go to the principle so many times at my request. he wrote it off as bullying getting lots of media hype right now. oh i was mad. you are so lucky that your school is helpful. i ultimately moved my son to a new school and it has been the best decision.
    i will be praying for her and you.

  7. I know we talked about this yesterday, but I didn't get a chance to tell you that I think you just rock as a mom!

  8. bullies. POO. can i 'like' katie's comment on blogger just like facebook?

  9. Ouch. Reading this literally brought tears to my eyes. Kids can be SO mean! Good thing your daughter has such an awesome mom :) At first I feel angry at this boy, but then I feel sad for him. I wonder how his home life is. Maybe his parents don't have much time for him. Maybe he is jealous of the relationship you and your daughter have. Maybe he is longing for the same love and attention from his parents and he acts out because it feels easier to be angry than sad and disappointed. Whatever his deal is, I am sorry your daughter is one of his targets. I hope she realizes that bullies and the awful things they do say everything about them and nothing about their targets. Is first grade too young to get that??? Sounds like she has a good little head on her shoulders. She is beautiful just like her mom and when all else falls away, she has you to come home to. That is a lot.

  10. i have tears streaming down my face right now.
    I can't handle this...
    It is just a result of the sin in this world.
    This crazy sinful world.
    Keep praying and teaching her!
    They are still absorbing everything that you tell them at that age :).
    Tell her she is beautiful and tell her Who said it first.
    OUR GOD!
    This really touched my heart.
    Sorry for the emotional rant.


  11. Ugh... This is tough. I'm so sorry...I do know there are programs like Girls on the Run that help young girls with self confidence! I volunteer for them... :) best wishes... Xoxo

  12. Oh bless her heart! I got made of for my ears my whole life! Kids can be so cruel. Just keep loving on her momma . Sigh.

  13. wow children can be so cruel and what a horrible thing for Alexis to already be hearing that in 1st grade. definitely be praying for God's protection over her and that she will see herself as He sees her and not as other people see her.

  14. Aww poor thing. Kids are just cruel. I was called long neck as a child. I hated it.


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