Each day after work I drive to where I pick up my son and I deescalate from a day of teaching and counseling students that have disabilities. I have this spot under a tree where I simply sit and attempt to find my center. Well, as the beautiful weather approaches children are hanging all over the place. Maybe it’s because it’s near an elementary school and a rec center. Though here lately they have been hanging strong.
So today, I pull up and I hear a lot of commotion. If you can imagine mini clusters of elementary students and no adult supervisor at all. It was very loud but there was a group of students that stood out. I kept hearing a little girl say “I’m not a b…..” The little boy kept riding around her and her friends calling them all kind of b’s. Dumb and stupid came from this child’s mouth before spitting out that ugly word. I’m contemplating intervening, I don’t know them and they have probably only seen me in passing.
The little girl was beyond upset and she simply sat there while this little boy rode back and forth on his bicycle calling her a b.
Finally I had had enough. I walked slowing across the street and I kept my eye on him. He made several circles around me and kept laughing but I kept my eye contact. As I approached the door I asked him,
“Why you gotta call her a b….?” His response “Because she is one. All girls are.”
Is that what you call your mother?
No, I’d get grounded.
What about your grandmother?
So why you call her one?
She a girl.
I’m a girl.
You’re a woman.
I was once a girl. Does that make me a b.?
Do you know that little girl’s name?
Then, that’s what I expect you to call her. By her name.
What if I had said nothing? Sometimes it easier to say nothing. What stayed in my head the most was that these were elementary children. Elementary children!!! Here this girl was being called a name that leaves many grown women messed up upon hearing it. For some reason today I needed those children to know that being called a b….. is not ok.