I can recall in 5th grade my best friend Heather W. and I were not nice girls. We would make fun of Jacob F - who couldn't tie his shoes or ever bother putting them on the right feet. We made fun of Susan D - who showed her underwear when bending over and we made fun of Bonnie W who would pour glue in the well of her desk, let it dry and then eat it.
In 5th grade these were some of the most horrible offenses according to Heather and I. Seriously - was there nothing better to do than see if Susan's undies were showing or Jacob's shoes were untied? We didn't limit ourselves to just these three - we shared our special form of attention on just about everyone! We felt it was our right to put people in their place - point out their flaws. To show them how we were better.
Heather and I were small minded, silly, careless little girls. We were everything you think 5th grade girls would be - catty, gossiping, snotty, selective, and complete busy bodies.
We aren't now. We realize, now that we have had children, that words hurt, no matter what the song says. I have thought many times about Jacob, maybe because I have a Jacob of my own. I hope he is ok. I hope we didn't do too much damage to his self esteem and I hope he is incredible successful. I hope his parents didn't love him any less because we gave him grief. I hope he didn't continue to take it from the next group of mean girls. I hope he has a most amazing family life and that he is loved. I worry for him to this day. I worry about how we judged him and what that did to him.
I do my best to not judge. I have to constantly remind myself: I have not walked a mile in those shoes, I don't pay those bills, and I don't have a dog in their fight. I am not perfect, I still have moments when I flash back to that 5th grade girl.
Don't judge, I'm working on it!