Tuesday, April 14, 2009

learning lessons

even as adults, we still have lessons to learn. this past weekend was a great example of that for me, and a lot of my friends.

we were at a baseball tournament and there was this kid on the opposing team who looked like freaking a rod. he was super tall, totally muscular, and moved the way at least a high schooler would move. he was supposed to be 10. of course we laughed and i joked about asking him out on a date later. we made comments about how he probably drove the team here and how we'd see him up at the bar. we were never trying to hurt his feelings or make him feel bad, but we were just joking amongst ourselves at the craziness of this kid even possibly being 10. that even if he was that tall, what 10 year old is that coordinated with that kind of body?

then i talked to one of the moms on that team. and she told me how everywhere they go it's like a freak show. and people make comments and say things like "he can't be 10, he has FACIAL HAIR!!" and they never stop to think that he can hear them. and that he's 10. and how is a 10 year old supposed to feel about himself when he hears these things about him? she told me how nervous he gets going out on the field. how when he pitched in the last game, he was shaking he was so scared. how he was totally 10 years old, go talk to him for 2 seconds.

and it all rang in my head after i walked away. imagining a 10 year old boy hearing people say things about his facial hair. and people questioning his age, and the way his body looks. and he has no control over any of that stuff. he's just a child. he may not look it, but he is. i ended up feeling so fucking bad. i wanted to go hug the kid and tell him that it might be hard for him right now, but it won't always be this way. he will be a superstar in no time.

you know, i often say things that i think are funny... totally joking around without thinking about it. it's never with will intention, or to make someone feel bad, but i know the shit i say can definitely hurt someone's feelings. i need to be more aware of what i'm saying. even though i meant nothing with all my jokes about this kid- i still made a ton of jokes about a child. a freaking 10 year old. who does that?

wanted to include this because it's somewhat along the same lines- judging someone.. laughing at them.. and here's to having them shut you the hell up.


Anonymous said...

Don't beat yourself up Ster. We all do this.

Meg said...

I love this post because it reminds me to shut my mouth sometimes. I'm horrible about making fun of everyone I cross paths with. I don't mean it to be mean or offensive, it's just something I do. And many times I cross the line and I'm stuck digging myself out of a mess.

So I would have been right in there with you, making fun of this kid. The problem is that I probably would have never thought twice about it.

Apryl's Antics said...

I'd like to think we all do it. It makes me feel better that way. At least you saw the ugly side of it and learned from it. A lot of people never would or will.

meno said...

I have experienced this, as i am ridiculously tall. Although i had no boobs until i was 33.

Also watched one of my nephews, who is still growing at 6'6" be treated as if he should be much older.

It's hard, but growing up is hard too, for anyone.

TUWABVB said...

You shouldn't be so hard on yourself because clearly you learned something from this. The only people that are jerks are those that hear a story like this and don't change what they do.

That video was neat -thanks for sharing!

steenky bee said...

People also comment on my facial hair and my hair hair. Snif*

Chris said...

I agree with you 100%. I know that I have been guilty of the same thing at one time or another. Great thinking post! Great singer that Susan Boyle.

Gini said...

I find the older I get the more shit like this bothers me. I too, find myself caught up in it all until someone says something. Then I remember I should know better.

Karen Bodkin said...

As the resident buzzkill in this department (on our hockey team there were a bunch of parents talking loudly about the other teams kids and how old they looked for the same reasons you & your friends did), I gotta say I'm not surprised at the group mentality - it happens a lot. I had to turn to my own husband and the rest of the parents and say "Hey. You're talking about someone else's kid here."
It worked. And I'm sure all the others talked about me behind my back but I don't care. It's wrong and it's disgusting. I would say it again in a heartbeat.
Glad you learned your lesson Jenn. And the video was really touching. :)

J from Ireland said...

Aw the poor kid having to deal with the horrors of developing early. At least you are aware of your mistake Jen. I think lot of us have done it too.

Nora said...

Thanks for making us all think twice. We all have done it. But for some reason, when you have kids, so much changes, and you look at things differently.

Kristine said...

Susan Boyle is a great example of how quick we are to judge, but I find it heartening that so many of us are willing to admit it when we are wrong. I have watched that video countless time and I still get teary every time.