While lined up for the class photo, some boys starting teasing her about the shirt she was wearing, a ruffled, pink-checked number she hadn’t been 100% sure about wearing in the first place. They kept at it, too, the whole time the class was arranged for their group photo. When it came time for my daughter’s individual portrait, the taunting shifted to her ears. When she put her hair behind them, they stuck out something awful, they said. She looked just like an elf.
To this day I still remember the part of my body that I got teased about as a kid: my ankles. And I am still self-conscious about them. (If I catch you looking at them if we ever meet, I’m not sure we’ll be able to be friends).
So, the shirt was one thing. I gave her an impassioned speech about being herself regardless of what others think. A speech she’ll no doubt ignore while she conveniently “forgets” to ever wear that shirt again. Okay, I can live with that.
But the elf bit? That made the mother lion in me bust hard out of her cage. I announced that I was calling the boys’ parents. If I couldn’t turn back time, I could at least get the boys to apologize for what they had said. But my daughter didn’t want me to do that. She begged me not to.