So I volunteer at my girls' school and have involvement all the students from K-8. The other day, we were working on a PowerPoint show and one of the girls was writing about how she feels she is being bullied by three girls in her class. So, toward the end of class, I decided to let the kids look at each others shows, if they wanted to share. Low and behold, the 'bully' watched the show of the 'bullied' girl. It was interesting to see how hurt the 'bully' looked. Like she couldn't imagine anyone would ever think of her that way. (I will stop here to say, this was a situation of gossipy 9 y/o trash talk, NOT physical abuse or malicious intent) So as they lined up and we waited for dismissal, I asked her what she thought of being called a 'bully'. She shrugged her shoulders and said "Whatever". I told both the girls involved that when I was in school, I picked on a few select people and I was picked on by a few select people. But somewhere along the way, we all realize we are all in this together and no one is always right, always wrong, stupid, ugly or any other 'label' we put on people as we move through life. The funny thing was, they walked out together. I hope it helps, but I know when you are 9, you know it all and adults suck. So, I guess I won't hold my breath!
So, while I was thinking of these girls today, I had wonderful memories of fourth grade. For me, my fourth grade was spent in two schools, as we moved in the middle of the year. I remember having so much fun, playing with my friends and just being a kid. I don't really remember picking on others, but I am sure I did. I remember transitioning from boys are gross to maybe they aren't so bad. I remember riding my bike EVERYWHERE and everyone knew my name. We didn't worry about being abducted. Passing notes in class, check yes or no, list your favorite people in order from 1 - 5, playing Nintendo until 4 in the morning. Oh it was grand.
Things have changed (obviously) and I now have a fifth grader. He doesn't tell me anything about school. It is a place to go and 'get it over with'. My second grader however, I can see the drama coming a mile away. Maybe it is a girls/boys difference. I dunno yet. All I know, is I have been listening to Bon Jovi on my iPod and singing into my hairbrush, trying to fight the urge to dig out some blue eyeshadow and Aqua Net. Now where did I put those?