This is in response to Impromptu Promptlings‘ invitation to do the Five Photos, Five Stories challenge. Unfortunately I do not have another blog at the moment to nominate.
I am not really Facebook friends with many people from my childhood. I have one grade school friend (I’ll call her “X”) that I reconnected with later in my life and became friends with in “real life” and on FB, as she has since she moved to another state. Grade school was not a fun place for me. Before fourth grade began, the school district decided to redraw the lines of who went to school where. Our neighborhood was “redistricted,” and so I began fourth grade at a new school. My experience was not a pleasant one. Because I was the new kid, I was often teased and bullied. For example, I had a mole removed on my back, and the next day, another student kicked me in the back. Fortunately his foot did not land on my stitches. Even X teased me when we were in grade school. She kicked me to see if it would make me cry. She has no memory of this incident and was mortified when I casually brought it up (we were in our 20s when I mentioned this). Keep in mind, however, that I never obsessed over what happened when I was a child – things happen, and one deals with it. So anyways, X and I were discussing “free-range parenting” on FB, which really is a stupid moniker in my opinion – I think any child prior to the 1990s and 2000s experienced a “free-range childhood.” We used to ride our bikes all over town and on the local college campus – surely, a far cry from what American parents allow their kids to do today. My friend X tagged another person on this post – someone I’ll call “Y.” It suddenly dawned on me who Y really was – one of the girls who was really mean to me. The exact details of her meanness has since been buried under my life experiences, but I do recall making the decision at a young age that if I ever had children, Y would definitely NOT be on the list of names I would choose as a baby name because of her. It kinda threw me for a loop. I mean, all of these things happened over 30 years ago, and surely, as in the case of my friend X, people have changed as they grow older. I did query my friend X to ask if this was the same Y we went to grade school with (yes, it was). I have thought about telling X how I feel about Y – X is actually a sensitive person, and by that I mean she is sensitive to others’ feelings, not that she is “touchy.” Anyways, I suppose I would say something along the following lines:
I know that you have happy memories of your childhood, but grade school was not fun for me. Y in particular was not very kind to me. I hope, that like yourself and myself, she has changed into a different, kinder person as an adult. After all, this happened over 30 years ago.
Frankly, I do not see what can be gained from doing this, except perhaps to glean insights from X’s response. The interesting thing to me is that, if I weren’t on Facebook, I would probably have never heard or seen this person again. I am also thankful that all of this happened before the digital age, for I’m sure these incidences would have been far worse if I’d experienced them now. C’est la vie!