Speakerboxxx/The Love Below

I remember the first time I was treated like an outcast. I was in first grade. 

I attended a Catholic private school in Tuscaloosa, AL. I loved my class and my teacher Mrs. Rice. We had “class moms” who were overly involved in making sure that every holiday, Saint day, and any other celebration involving cake, streamers, or a crockpot full of meatballs happen.

My mom was not able to be a “class mom” actively. It was not a requirement so I wasn’t the only child in class whose mom didn’t show up when we had the monthly rager. 

There was one “class mom” however who was dedicated. She would get the “class mom” Olympic gold medal. She was this pretty, black woman who knew all of the other students in my first class by first and last name. She had to have studied that class directory all summer. 

She also always had the best treats, the best party favors, and my classmates loved her. Her daughter was easily one of the most popular girls in the class. 

With that being said, when she came to class, everyone knew it was about to GO DOWN. 

The girls would giggle with glee, the guys would high five each other and give a “thumbs up” to their buddies across the room. 

I admired her too. However, I quickly realized that she didn’t admire me or treat me the same as the other children in my class. 

As someone who had only spent 5 years on earth, I was fairly new at understanding the way adults “adulted”. 
I remember the first time I realized that there was something about me that bothered her. She walked into class one day  and everyone’s eyes lit up, including mine. 

She then asked everyone to give her a hug. She went around to each student, and as I sat patiently waiting for my hug, she skipped me. When allowed to get out of our seats to prepare for our party, I went over to her with outstretched arms and said “You forgot me!” She blatantly roller her eyes and told me that she was not in the mood for hugs for the rest of the day. 

I shrugged it off. I mean, it’s just a hug. 

 There was another  time she served as a volunteer parent to walk students from their car to the classroom. When my mom pulled up to drop me off, I saw her. I thought to myself…. This will be my chance, I’ll smile, use all of my manners, and win her over! 

She walked  to my car and spoke to my mom like they are old friends. So I thought surely the other day, when she met her “hug quota” for the day, I would be one of the first to receive one, or at least a positive validation… 

When my mom said good bye to me , I prepared for class mom to walk me up the school steps and to my classroom. I reached out my hand for her to hold it and said “GOOD MORNING!”

To my surprise.. She pushes my hand away and rolls her eyes again. 

What did I do to this “class momzilla”?

The way she treated me started to catch on to the other children. They started to treat me differently too.. But only when she was there. So when it was a rager day, I would always try to pretend to be sick and stay home from school. 

I was never told I was a bother. I was just 5… Damn.

I could go on and on about “class momzilla”, however I’m not throwing a pity party. 

As you grow older you realize some of the reasons you are the way you are. Like now, I am so afraid of being a “bother”. 

We truly have to be careful of how we treat others. The way you make someone feel lasts a lifetime. 



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