I think I became a cynic about people when I reached an age when life just didn’t have the magic it once held and I discovered that people are just out for themselves and nothing more. Yes, I do know there are some genuine people out there. It just so happens they are the exceptions to the rule, and there are far too few of them.
Christmas, Easter and summer — among other things — were always the times when there was a mystery about the world I didn’t get and that only made it more fabulous. There was something bigger than myself to believe in and I didn’t need explanations or scientific reasoning to make sense of it all. The fact there was something to it, in my mind, heart and imagination was enough.
As school begins again this week, I couldn’t help but find myself transported back over the years to when I was preparing to go back following the summer. There was a certain magic about the time of year for me, but it was a bittersweet time for me, like most kids, and there are probably more than a few who have the same issues I did.
I was always excited for school because, even if it only lasted a few days, the newness thrilled me, and I looked forward to the chance to see friends I hadn’t in a while, not to mention making new ones. I wasn’t so concerned about who my teacher or teachers might be, though over the years I did develop friendships that have lasted to this day.
So there’s the sweet. It’s the bitter I have a hard time sharing with you because it’s not something I have ever done before. Now let’s move onto the bitter.
As a kid I didn’t fit in very well, though I did become pretty good at hiding it. I’m an artistic personality who happened to be a very good athlete and the two just didn’t go well together … so the artistic personality suffered. To this day I still don’t view the world like most people and it’s difficult to find others who think in the same vein to have someone understand who you are. So I hid that part of myself and went with what everyone liked — sports.
I was an extremely intelligent child and I’m not sure, especially at a younger age, that my teachers knew what to do with that. I didn’t think like the other students because I was interested in theories and ideas beyond my years, including mathematics.
All it took was being embarrassed for introducing a concept the teacher had never heard of while in third grade to shut me up forever in school. Until I was in college, I never spoke another original, out of the ordinary thought in school again.
I was picked on and bullied for being the fat kid until I was 13 and finally had enough. One brawl all over a school cafeteria and I never had that issue again. The point is, if you looked at my life, my friends and the overall picture, you would never have known.
I never shared any of this until now, and had I done so, at that particular time in this particular world, it would have become a “thing” instead of being discussed rationally.
As you ship your kids off to school, be aware of who they are, not just where they go, their extracurricular activities or the kids they run around with. Know THEM as people because it’s a hard world out there and only getting harder, and they are individuals with worries and troubles of their own they may be afraid or ashamed to admit.
So listen and put a little magic back in their lives.