I knew from the time London was in pre-school that she wouldn’t be the most popular girl in the school. I was okay with that. In fact, I think it’s probably better that way. But there was something about her that made her just a little bit different. She has always been extra sensitive. She worries a lot. She doesn’t like it when people laugh at her, even in good fun. She’s self-conscious, but not insecure. Sometimes she can be that obnoxious kid. Sometimes I get embarrassed for her. That seems ridiculous, but I do. She’s a bit socially awkward. How do you teach a child social awareness? I don’t often ask her specifics about her days at school anymore, mostly because something inevitably comes up that she doesn’t want to talk about. I learned today that a boy in her class, during music time, blew a raspberry on his hand and then yelled, “Ew! London has diarrhea!” And all the kids laughed. She doesn’t have the wit to retort something clever. Instead, she is hurt and maybe even cries. she cries a lot. She cries a lot at school. Because she’s sensitive. The situation today wasn’t just a one-time thing. I think things like this happen a lot to her. When kids say or do mean things to her, she takes it all in. She can’t let it slide off her back. It really hurts her. And it hurts me. As unapologetically embarrassing as she can sometimes be, I hate to see how a stupid thing that a stupid mean boy said can really tear her apart.
Yesterday I watched a clip of Jason Segal on the Ellen show. He was talking about how he was as a kid and it reminded me of how London acts. I like to think that he was a lot like her when he was in the 4th grade, unapologetically embarrassing. It gave me comfort to see someone so successful and seemingly happy talk about a childhood similar to one my daughter is living. I hope that the mean boys never crush her spirit.