#1,177 Jack.

Do you remember the movie Jack? It came out in 1996 when I was in 5th grade. I was 10 years old, same as Robin Williams’ character, Jack.

I absolutely loved it and there was the Bryan Adams song in the opening credits that I loved too, called Star. It’s still a wonderful song that makes me feel teary when I hear it. It sounds like the magic parts of childhood to me, the almost teenager age when everything was a brand new experience. I saw a lot of me in Jack, because I was picked on in elementary too. Not for the same reasons, obviously, but there’s definitely a tender place in my heart for this movie because of it. Tonight it was on TV at my parents’ and I watched it as if I’d never seen it before.

Sweet shirt, little Erin!

Were you ever picked on when you were little? I remember being invited to a sleepover at a girl’s house and they wanted to play hide and go seek. I was a little shy about it, and never liked sleeping away from home, but I was excited that I was invited and wanted to do whatever they wanted to have fun. They said, “you’re it!” and told me to go to her room and shut the door and count to 100. While I did that, they left and went to the girl next door’s house. I came out and felt so hurt and lonely, like there must be something wrong with me that they didn’t want to be my friend. I felt small and stupid. I called my mom and asked if I could come home. In 6th grade our class took a field trip to Washington, D.C. on a charter bus. Many parents came along too since it was one of those trips of a lifetime where you get to tour and see all the most historic sites, and my parents were two of them. As I nervously boarded the cold recycled air conditioning of the bus early that morning before the sun came up with my parents trailing behind me, I felt hopeful that I might find a friend to sit with for the 18 hour drive. I asked awkwardly, quietly, if I could sit beside these girls, and again and again, I felt so dejected and embarrassed by each of their terse responses: “No, I’m saving it.” My mama welcomed me in the seat beside her, with my daddy reading in the row behind us. I cried quietly, ashamed, as the bus pulled away from our school and thanked God for my parents who loved me even if the children on that bus did not. There’s a possibility that some of those girls are reading these words, and if you are, I don’t have any ugly feelings toward you. I think a lot of kids use meanness as a way to feel included and I just never caught on to that.

Children can be so hurtful. It sort of blows my mind. I think it either messes you up or makes you tougher, and while I still remember how much it hurt to be alienated by the girls my age (over and over), I’m thankful for what I learned from it—to never treat another person the way I was treated. I also can now recognize grown people who still use meanness as a way to fit in or feel good about themselves, and I feel sorry for them.

Jack reminds me of that time and place very much, but in a good way now. I hear that song and remember the first time I got to wear perfume (Gap Dream), I remember making homemade pizza for supper with mama, making paintings and feeling like it made me different and special to my parents. I’m glad childhood is over and now I hope that someday when I have children of my own I can teach them to be kind to every single person.


Erin

Monday, March 4th, 2013

Daily Journal

16 thoughts on “#1,177 Jack.

  1. You is kind. You is smart. You is important. I too was made fun of as a kid. I was always the fat kid. We moved around as an Air Force family and making new friends was hard anyway. I think it has made me more compassionate towards others. I am also a very complimentary person. I like to tell people they smell good or look nice. I am a huge fan of yours. I marvel at your creative genius. I think you are supremely talented in a variety of areas. Yes, I am a huge fan of Erin the person, you are precious!

  2. Oh Mrs. Terri! When I think of you, the first thing I think of his how kind and complimentary you are to people. I believe that anytime you think something good about someone you should tell them, and I think you must always do that too. I love knowing you!

  3. This made me feel sad. As a parent, I've always taught my children to be kind. I blame mean/bully behaviors on parents. Children should be taught and shown love. You are an inspiration. Your talent and love of family and God are present in every one of your posts. Keep on being you!

  4. Hurt me to read this. You are precious. I am reading all your entries for the first time. Thank you for sharing your life. Reading about the love and romance you share with your husband makes me so happy. Blessings to you and your family.

    • Oh thank you so so much for your sweet words, friend. I wish I knew you so I could hug your neck. I'm glad people like you are here!

  5. How have I never seen this post? ? As a religious reader of your blog, I balme technology.. Or something. Anyways. This killed me. Completely broke my heart. I’ve known you for years and didn’t know any of this! I know I wasn’t the greatest choice of friend to hang out with, but you did anyways. And no matter how successful you become, I feel like I will always be able to get a genuine, love filled hug and :-O face when I see you again. Thanks for not being judgmental. And thanks for never being “that girl”. #OddManIn

    • Jimmy!! I’m thankful that by the time our paths crossed I had wised up to the game. I’m so glad I had my guy buddies all the way through high school! What would I have done without you?

  6. My daughter is in a new group of friends. They gang up on one girl each week and leave her out. I know who the ring leader is and I think Emma figured it out yesterday. She posted something accidentally and I saw it, asked her about it and she deleted it saying she didn’t meant to post. Anyway, it started our conversation and I think she gets it. I think she has the compassion in her heart that knows the right and wrong of bullying. We have been talking about it for years. She’s done it and I don’t know that she won’t do it again. I just hope she is learning each time from being bullied and when she’s on the giving end. They do not know, but we have to teach them. Sadly, the daughters are usually a lot like their mothers. Sad to know you were bullied. I believe we are taught things in different times in our life to help us make sense in the long run.

    • What an amazing opportunity you have to show her the way! It’s so hard being a girl with a tender heart at that age. We all come through to the other side wiser for it or one of them, you know? With you for a mama I know she’ll be one of the wise ones.

  7. You’re lovely! There is no reason for meanness. I witnessed my daughter being treated ugly on her field trip. It hurts a Momma to see this. I’m glad you shared this. I wish you and Ben many blessings. You two are great role models for our children. Keep it up.

    • Oh gosh I don’t know about role models, but thank you for that. We appreciate your support so much! I hope she comes out on the other side with a kind heart and tough skin.

  8. Oh my. This rings true in so many ways. I was bullied until I graduated high school. I think that’s why I have such bitterness in my heart towards Laurel. A lot of the people who bullied me are still there. It runs deep. It does make you tougher for sure. So many emotions stirring in my heart reading this & thinking about my own hurt experienced by other mean girls my age. I can still remember names and very specific situations. I think at times it can make you want to respond in the same meanness in which you were treated, but in the end we all have a choice to respond in that manner or gently & kindly. I pray I always choose to be kind in every situation.

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