Here it is already, back to Musical Monday. Where does the time go? I'm not feeling real inspired this morning to find a song and do a personal journey with it, but as I looked at my Playlist I saw a song that I had put on for the grandsons. I think it's appropriate right now as so many kids are going back to school this month, so I've added 'Don't Laugh At Me' by Peter, Paul and Mary to my Jukebox. Give it a listen if you can while reading this post - actually, before or after would be better!
As I listened to the song, it didn't take much to go back to my own childhood and remember how hurtful it was to be laughed at and ostracized because my adoptive mother was a drunk. I've never forgotten, even these decades later, how the kids laughed when she drove the car thru the garage turned into my bedroom (yes, they all came by to have a look), or when she stumbled into the school with a totally inappropiate sun dress falling off her shoulders and wobbling on high heels, bleached blonde hair with three inches of black roots, and clownish makeup. I guess it would be funny to an outsider, especially to a kid, and yes I know now that they were laughing at her and not at me, but I've never forgotten the sting of that laughter directed at my life.
And then there was the laughter at me for being so pidgeon toed that I couldn't walk a straight line, so they probably thought I was drunk, too! And being picked last for - well, for anything - in gym because I was so uncoordinated. And having terrible acne.
Also, as I listened to the song, I heard a stanza I'd never noticed before. The song starts out singing about don't laugh at me for something that makes them a little different (glasses, braces, fat, handicap), and then all of a sudden it throws in a stanza about not laughing at a beggar on the corner. I thought at first that it ruined a perfectly nice children's song, but as I thought about it I realized that it was totally appropriate for today's circumstances, what with regular people like you and me losing their homes and resorting to all kinds of means to put food on the table, and we don't know the backstory of this person.
The other thing about this song that I probably shouldn't mention, for fear of offending some of you, is that the hyperbole of all of us having 'perfect wings in the end' just drives me nuts. That's all I'm gonna say about that, though I guess the image does make the song softer.
Did you have something that kids openly made fun of when you were younger, or do you have a kid that has something that he gets kidded about? I think everyone worries about it, but sometimes it's all in our head, because if it bothers us we're sure that everyone else notices. But truth be told, kids can be so cruel to each other, in small and large ways, can't they? Those of you who are teachers must see it more than most - have you seen anything that you thought was particularly cruel?
As a side note, I'd like to say, if I haven't mentioned it before, that my daughter was one of those kids in school who seemed to gravitate toward those kids who were made fun of (probably because she thought she was one of those being made fun of because of her acne and her glasses). So in her year book they would write things like "you're so nice", and she hated it! She wanted them to say "you are so cool" or "I wish I could be as popular as you!" (though I'm actually only imagining what she would want it to say). I always told her that that was a good thing, to be nice! I told her that someday she would probably end up in a career that would involve her helping people in some way. And sure enough, she went on to become an elementary school counselor!
Well, I guess I was able to go on a personal journey, wasn't I. And I hope you'll join me by sharing your own personal journey of ridicule and cruelty ... (that doesn't sound right, does it.)
7 years ago