Rumination’s on Being a Second Grader

I remember second grade so very well. It was the year things changed for me. Until that year I’d been “normal.” A little odd and silly, perhaps, but a girl with a lot of friends and a happy little life. I was a lot like my little Lulu is now, sunny and funny and sweet. But in second grade my parents decided to move me to a private religious school in order for my brother, who had some learning issues, to get more attention than they thought he’d get at a public school.


From that year until well into junior high, I was considered a bit of a weirdo. Kids were mean and unwelcoming, and the teachers didn’t seem to notice, or care. My mom still recalls going to a parent teacher conference where the teacher informed them I never had a partner at computer time. “Why not?” my parents questioned. Well, it seemed that no one wanted to be my partner, but I told the teacher it was okay, and I didn’t mind working by myself, so there I sat all year. Alone.

Now, I should be clear that none of these kids were inherently mean, just scared of someone different and following the pack, as many kids (and adults) tend to do. I also should point out that so much good came out of this situation. I eventually found a wonderful tribe of misfits and those people were some of the best friends a girl could ever ask for. Still are. I also know that I wouldn’t have become who I am today without these experiences, and I think I’m pretty rad. I don’t know if that means I’m happy I was bullied, I just know that I was blessed that I found a path that didn’t crush me or send my self-esteem to a point of no return. Many aren’t so lucky.

So today when I sent Lu off to second grade, I looked at her happy skipping body and her smiling eyes and found myself praying to the universe or God or whatever is out there that she is held safe these long school days. I told her she is loved beyond compare and that will never change, regardless of the number of awards she wins or friends she has. I told her about my experience, in the hopes that if she sees someone suffering, she will reach out. Those people who reached out when I was in second grade? They saved me. I think of them often and silently thank them for every gesture of kindness they bestowed upon me.


I have big hopes for this girl. Not hopes for straight A’s or medals or trophies, but hope that her light can reach someone that needs it this year. I hope her smile or kind words from her lips will make a small difference to someone. I may not know much, but I know my hopes will be fulfilled.

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