Still working on the blog about Saturday ... until then ...
Marissa and the girls came down for a visit on Sunday and, after the girls got their hair done, we went for lunch at Milestones. After placing our orders, Ruby opened the small set of crayons, took a piece of paper and went to work. She worked diligently. We all glanced over and saw that she had drawn a big heart. Cute. I didn't notice anything again until she had taken the yellow daffodil that she was wearing, the 'support cancer research' one, off her blouse and pushed the pin through the paper.
Then I think she startled all of us by asking, "How do you spell 'bullying'?"
Whaaa? Where did that come from?
So we helped her sound out the word and she matched the sound with the letter and then dutifully wrote it down. This was an odd coincidence because when we were heading over to the salon I had talked to Marissa about training in two different schools on Friday. I had mentioned that just walking into a school, no matter how different it might be from the one I attended, memories come flooding back. Not all of them good, of course. We agreed that schools always feel like schools.
There was no talk about bullying at all, just an oblique reference to what schools often are and to the memories that stay stuck forever in one's mind. And yet, only an hour later, a little kid, fresh and new to school, is sitting at a table, concentrating as hard as she can to make an anti-bullying poster.
We asked her a few questions about her school and if they were talking about bullying there. She answered distractedly, paying most attention to colouring green around the bottom. Finally I asked her what bullying meant. She said simply, "it's when people are rude." That may sound simple, but to Ruby, "rude" is a very big deal and it's behaviour she doesn't understand.
So, for today, I'm sharing a drawing done, out of the blue, by a little girl concerned about how people treat each other ....
I'd like to say, at the risk of seeming completely cutesy, I am really, really, pleased that Ruby had to ask how to spell "bullying" but she knew how to spell "love." I wish that were true for every child, of every age, in every place.