This week my blog isn’t Jewish as much as it is personal. Almost every blog here is political, controversial and always Jewish based. I always try to write about something uplifting and poke fun at our family’s growing pains and living Jewish in a small southern town. This past week, our small town has experienced one more suicide. Every suicide is one too many.
I work in the schools. I’ve seen bullying. I’ve tried to stop it when I see it, but I’m not sure my words are enough. My oldest daughter is 16 and 5 foot 9. The youngest is almost 13 and is 5 foot 8. They are tall targets. Both of them have skipped a grade in math. They are tall, one is a blonde, one is a ginger, both are smart, and to top it off: Jewish.
Fortunately, the bullying at the high school level is minimal for my oldest. She has managed to surround herself with positive, older, brilliant girls in the school for roll models and emotional support. The one in middle school is not quite there yet. Seventh grade girls can be flat out mean. Two of my Madeline’s best friends have left school because of bullying. I can’t afford private school or the luxury of staying home to home school, not if I want a roof over my family and food on the table.
This week’s events have me sad. I can’t find any whimsical story of my son sneaking meat, football Fridays and Shabbat or the southern accent ruining the Hebrew language. But in my heart I have this. It is is a love letter to my daughters:
I wish you could see yourself through my eyes. I wish you could see the joy you bring not only to my life, but to the world. You are so very smart. I love nothing more than when you try to make me laugh. Your soul is gentle, thoughtful and beautiful. You are a fiercely loyal friend. I think I have learned more from you in my life than I could ever have to teach you. So, when they knock your drawing book out of your hand it is because they know how beautiful your creations are and they are afraid they can’t measure up. When they make fun of you for being tall, it is because they are afraid their own size is not important. When they call you names for being smart, realize it is their own insecurity screaming for attention. Always stand straight. Smile with joy. Speak with kindness. Help those that can’t help themselves. And know deep in your soul that I love you, always. Mom
note: I have one for my son too. He has a copy of it in his room. I’ll share it sometime.