Dear kids who’ve been bullying two daughters,
She can be annoying. I know. I’m her father. She doesn’t like to take no for an answer, voices her beliefs loudly and likes to bend the rules in her advantage at any chance. She’s likely to tell you her life story — whether you want to hear it or not. She wears preposterous clothes that don’t pair, gets aroused about small things( like playing outside at recess) and sings wherever possible. She requires so much better to be your friend that she sometimes enrolls your personal space, begs to be allowed to join in video games and chuckles too loudly to hide her regret when you — once again — say “no.” These things flaw you. I get it.
To you, the fact that she screams with pleasure as the buzzer echoes for lunch is a oddity that acquires her different. To you, the fact that she will tell you about her recent crush is annoying; you would only tell your very best friend. To you, the fact that she cries in the area when her feelings are suffered is hitherto one more thing she does to “get attention.” You smirk at her weepings and run away, moving on to play a game of tag that you’ll never question her to join.
I can guarantee, if the tables were turned and it was you crying in the area, my daughter would be the first one there, holding your hand and questioning what she can do to help, even though you called her “weird” the day before. If you fell down, she’d hurry-up you to the nurse’s agency, even though you purposely stomped on her paw in the hallway that morning. That’s because she has the kindest centre of any infant I’ve ever filled. She’s enthusiastic and joyful. She’s able to see the spark of bliss in small, everyday things and she’s not afraid to show her fervor. Once you smile at her, she’ll likely consider you a friend for life. To me, these things stir her awesome.
When you acquired that bar chart in computer class named, “Who detests[ my kid ], ” you thought it was funny, didn’t you? You and your friends had a good giggle over stirring the “hate” bar proceed highest and higher while the “like” bar remained a merely crack at the bottom. You probably didn’t even notice when my daughter’s seeings firstly registered what you’d done. You surely didn’t feel the immediate stab of pain that penetrated her centre, the hunk that hopped into her throat, threatening to choke her. She was destroyed, but she wouldn’t let you see that. She’s too brave.
Remember that time you bribed her with a pen? It was a sunny era and she was heading out to the playground to run around. You caught her on the stairs and said, “If you promise to play somewhere else today and leave us alone, I’ll give you a fountain pen.” My daughter’s always wanted a fountain pen, specially a white one like the one you promised to fetching her the next day, so she concurred. In point, she arrived residence that night all smiles about her imminent reinforce. What she hadn’t realise was that “youre ever” doing two things: compensating her to go away, and making a promise “youve never” intended to keep. My daughter learned a hard lesson that day, one that I hope she’ll never forget, and one I hope that you won’t have to learn in such a painful space — never sell yourself short. Stand up for yourself.
Last year, my daughter sat at our kitchen counter, painstakingly moving Valentine’s cards for every single one of you. She spent an hour working with scissors, markers and glitter glue. Armed with her treasured initiations, she left home with a bouncing in her stair. When she handed you your credit card, you looked at it. You snickered. Then you crumbled it up and practise your free throw into the garbage can. High-fiving your chum over your perfect shoot, you didn’t picture the pain that rippled through my child’s tiny frame. For reasons I will never understand, my daughter likes you despite the number of days you’ve mashed her flavour. Holding you a card was an opportunity for her to forgive you for the mean things you’ve said and done. She wished to fill your proverbial pail, to commit an act of kindness that would help you feel better about yourself. Instead, you rejected this kindness, draining my daughter’s pail and inducing a suffering so deep that she decided to never again send another Valentine — sadly, something she protruded to this year.
My daughter doesn’t ask for much. She only wants to play with you, perhaps be staying with you at lunch or be chosen as someone’s marriage in discipline class. She wants to be forgiven, as we all do, for any mistakes she makes. She wants to be accepted for who she is and liked for her many amazing features. She wants you to stop stepping on her toes, bribing her “re going away” and saying injurious things. She knows you think she’s bizarre because you’ve informed her. She knows you don’t like her because you’ve informed her. She knows you think she’s riling because you’ve informed her. That’s why she’s trying so difficult to quiet down and back up. Before she penetrates the school gate every morning, my daughter quietly tells herself, “If you fit in, they’ll be nice. Just act normal.”
Let me tell you something: She is better than normal. And it interrupts my heart in a way I never supposed possible that, because of your savagery, my exuberant daughter is trying to squash her personality to become you like her. I am the one who’s supposed to protect her from people like you, but I can’t because I’m not there.
How about we play a brand-new play? It’s called “Give my kid a break.” It’s easy to play-act. All you were supposed to do is put yourself in my daughter’s shoes. First, try to imagine feeling awful each time you step outside for recess. Your body tenses as the sons run by, wondering if they’ll call you “ugly” or “dumb.” You worry that they’ll move you when the schoolteachers aren’t looking. Then you spot the girls, gathered arm in arm in their cliques, chortling as they boast to you about yet another birthday party you weren’t received an invitation to. You look for a friendly face to help soften the blow, but everyone forestalls your see or worse, mutters and objects. How does that feel?
Now imagine, just once, being invited to join the fun everybody else is having, to be accepted as you are and to chortle freely together with the other kids without suspicion of being mocked or hurt. It’s so little to expect, really, but to my daughter, it would be life-changing.
I wish you would open your nerve to her even for your own sake — to let yourself enjoy the merriment that can come from fucking stupid and joyful together with her. Maybe then you’ll be able to appreciate — even like — the awesome “girls ” who’s been standing in front of you all along. And maybe, exactly perhaps, you’ll expect her to meet your group for a game of label. I’m certain you’ll be happy you did.