I had a different post in mind for today, until Ava reminded me that it was pink day.
Today, in a show of solidarity against bullying, she and all of her classmates, their entire school and every other school across the country wears pink.
I was bullied something fierce in 5th grade.
My "best friend" and I had had an insignificant argument about what I remember to be a card game.
She and another friend took sides against me and took it upon themselves to torture me day in and day out.
They would tell me they were going to wait for me after school.
They told me they would kill me.
I got sick. Really sick.
Well, sick enough to not go to school for days on end.
My mother couldn't figure out what was wrong with me.
I complained of constant stomach aches that miraculously went away the moment she told me I couldn't go to school that day.
And just as miraculously reappeared the very next morning.
This went on for some time.
Doctor's visits couldn't get to the bottom of it - since of course, there was nothing physically wrong with me.
My 9 year old self just couldn't bring myself to tell my parents what was going on.
Until they became desperate - and took me downtown to Sick Kids.
I swear I can almost remember the doctor's face, even now.
She was a female doctor and she was kind.
She figured out something was wrong - and she knew it had nothing to do with my being ill.
I remember her asking me if I was afraid to go to school.
And I remember her bringing my parents in to tell them.
And then I just remember my mother seeing red.
To this day, it is the single most important thing she has ever done for me.
She marched me into that school the very next day.
She looked for my bullies.
I won't tell you what she did then but will say that today, it probably wouldn't go over so well.
She pulled me out of school.
And had me in a new one that afternoon.
My immigrant, broken-english speaking, older than all the others moms in the playground mom, knew what to do.
I can only hope to be half the mother she was.
And bullies? I have no time for them.
I am the fiercest mama bear you have ever seen.
And yes, I admit it, there is a boy out there right now who still looks down when I drive by.
He chose to pick on the wrong second grade boy when he was in seventh grade.
Pretty sure he'll never do that again.