HAPPY SAINT PATTY'S DAY!!!!!!!!!!! how are you going to partaaaay? this morning i am making my sister and i's traditional patty's day cake. wait for instagam photo to come but this cake is a work of art and will blow your mind. tonight taran and i will go to dinner which is a rare occasion so i am excited!!
when i was in 5th grade, i was SUCH brat and such a bully. i cringe just thinking about it.
there was this gorgeous girl named nikki who had been adopted from russia or bosnia or some scary place over there. she had the most beautiful curly black hair and was so beautiful.
i had a group of friends, 4 of us, who were a "clique" and we were very mean. we thought we ruled the school. see, in elementary school, i went to private school. each grade had a total of 10 students per grade and the entire student body was under 100. it was great for one on one learning. my mom thinks they didn't teach us enough science. but instead of learning division with workbooks, it was hands on. we had these beads and blocks that represented 1, 1000, 10, etc and so to learn math we would add up the beads and everything instead of doing it in our heads or on a calculator. i liked having so much attention from the teacher if i didn't get something or if i needed help.
but us 4 girls, we were mean, especially to nikki. nikki for some reason decided to copy me. she copied everything i did, my clothes especially. if i wore something she thought was cute, she would ask me where i got it and the next day she would be wearing it. this happened over and over and over again. it really bothered me, i wanted to be left alone and be my own person. the principal was brought into the situation because i was always getting mad at her and then she would cry and tell the teacher and then the principal would be told and it was all a mess. ms wand, the principal, she said that copying was the highest form of flattery. i didn't care, she was annoying and i wanted her to stop it.
so my "clique" and i started bullying her relentlessly. we would run away from her at recess, avoid her at lunch, never let her play with us, i think i blocked out the worst of it because i was so mean. one day, nikki didn't show up at school, and ms wand sat all 100 of us down and told us a story. when nikki was born overseas, she was abandoned right after she was born and put into an orphanage. something we also teased nikki about was how she walked and how her arms always stuck out awkwardly. ms wand said that in her orphanage, she was tied down in her crib at the arms and legs so that she wouldn't go anywhere and the people in the orphanage wouldn't have to worry about chasing her and could keep her in one place. she was six months old when she was adopted and brought to the states. hearing the story, my heart broke. i knew this wasn't how my parents raised me. they raised me to be kind. i was so ashamed. i went home from school crying and told my mom what i had done and that i wanted to fix it and do something nice for her. ms wand said she was too scared to come to school. i didn't want my parents to be disappointed in me, but i had to fix it, i wanted to do something nice.
my mom got her home address from ms wand and then helped me bake cookies for her. on the way to her house, i asked my mom if we could stop at the grocery store and get her a nice card and a rose. we got to her house and i asked her mom if i could see her and apologize. when nikki came into the living room, i saw her differently. i saw her as a girl who had been through something terrible, and i made it worse. she walked funny because her legs didn't grow properly because she was tied down and her arms stuck out because they didn't grow properly either because of being tied down. i couldn't believe how cruel i had been to her. i remember so vividly where she lived, i could probably take you to her house today. nikki was such an amazing girl. she forgave me easily and was just excited that i had come over. i played with her for a while and when she came back to school, i was her protector. i made sure nobody said anything rude, i played with her at recess, i had her sit next to me. anything to make up for what i did. i told my friends to be nice, but they felt really bad too.
it just goes to show you that you never know someone's story. you never know what someone has gone through. i have never bullied or been mean to anyone like that ever. if someone is clingy and annoys me, i hang on to them, i still hang out with them. i will never make that mistake again.
i hope i can find nikki. i hope i can find her and make sure she is okay, is happy and living a full life. i really, really hope so. i was such a stupid kid. everyone deserves to be included and everyone deserves kindness.
**this post was originally posted on the rachael way but i wanted to run it here as well as it is such an important lesson i have learned in my life**