Monday, January 2, 2012

He thought he was the only one

Okay, so maybe I was....

 I had a conversation tonight with a friend I've known since the first grade. We went through twelve years of school together and attended the same college for two years before I transferred to another school.

After we caught up on our families, we talked a little bit about what it was like when we were kids. He shared with me a story that will always stay with me. When we were at the toughest age on the life continuum, another friend of ours said something hurtful. One word. But he got hung up on the one word and it affected him for two long years, framing how he viewed himself, how he felt about his place in the world.

One word. And it may have been said in jest. But when you're thirteen, one word is all it takes to shatter you.

I remember being thirteen and feeling like the whole world was staring at me, that I never measured up, that I was awkward and uncool and a million other things that rhyme with spaz and goon.

I've survived the passage of two of my children through that year and have one more on the precipice of thirteen. It's pretty much a roller coaster through a lightening storm with razor blade raindrops. As a mother who is privy to only a fraction of what happens in the lives of my children, the most I can hope for is to be on the side of good, counteracting whatever mental poison is injected through the barbs of a single word.

What do you remember about being thirteen?


  1. My dad left and rarely wanted to see me.

  2. I was having a conversation with my daughter about school and she went on about how much she loves it, loves her teachers, her new friends, band, all of it. I was disconcerted because I remember how tough it was at that age, and had that unerved feeling of being lied to.
    Then it occured to me that their are kids out there that may in fact coast through unscathed. I hope that's true, although the feeling hasn't gone.


And then you say....

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