You see in elementary school, my fifth grade year, I was a bit of a novelty. Up to this point I had been a very out going, out spoken person. I had long hair past my waist, an easy smile, and had lots of friends. I was at that point in time a popular girl, this all changed when I entered the fifth grade. I remember this day vividly. At this point in time boys to me were rude pulled my hair and a pain in my pinched rear, but this year there was a boy. He had grown over the summer, he was taller then I and at that age that was something new for me. He had blond naturally curly hair, the brightest blue eyes, and a smile that was very genuine. He was not like all the other boys he was NICE. He didn't tease and didn't make rude noises, he was very shy. You see that previous summer I, the girl with the long braids had developed an hour glass figure. I was one of the very few who was wearing a bra, and I am not talking a training bra. The hips had become more round and my chest had shaped into considerable size (only a B, but at that point when most of the girls still had flat chests that was significant). That was the summer I gained my body I would have for the next eight years. I only grew three more inches in height after that summer and my weight and chest never changed until I became pregnant with my boys. I was getting stared at and began to feel self conscious for the first time in my life. Now boys will be boys and in a fifth grade boys mind if they want your attention they become obnoxious! I had too many boys being VERY obnoxious to me and it didn't end at school, or on the bus, or even at church, it was everywhere I went. Including my boy cousins. This was a strange feeling for me and I didn't like it, because inevitably when boys start paying more attention to you girl friends become scarce. That year I had more drama and lost more friends then I can even say.
I tried to win them back with my first and last ever sleep over for my birthday. That ended in a disaster, my mother ended up going through suitcases before taking the girls home and pulling my items of clothing and treasures out of them. Now to hear my Mom tell it she says they took advantage and stole all those things - my clothes and lip gloss etc. which may be the case, but knowing myself and the struggle I was in that year I think it was more likely that I gave away my belongings 'buying' my friends back. I do not honestly remember, I remember being mortified and very alone but of the actual events I have no recollection. Little did I know it was about to get worse. The week after the disaster of a birthday party I returned to school. I had asked for a pair of white Calvin Klein jeans and this adorable white sweater with tiny pink rosebuds on it for my birthday and I had gotten it (My Dad called me Rosebud and that has been my family nickname for years, I used to hate it until one of my male cousins explained why I was given that nickname. He told me it was because I was the only one who looked as beautiful as a rose. This has always stuck with me, and I am sure he never meant it he just wanted to stop the crying lol, but he made me feel better about myself in a time when I felt so lost and ugly).
So on this day knowing I was going to be alone all day after what had happened at my party, I wore this white outfit that I knew all the girls were jealous of because they had said as much during the party. I dressed with care and for once didn't braid my hair I left it long and curling down my back with a tiny pink barrette in the side. I went to school and my stomach was rolling, I felt ill but my Mom being the woman she is told me to get to school and quit play acting. I know now she thought it was nerves and all I needed to do was face my peers head on. I got to my locker that morning and was one of dozens of kids in the hallway. I unpacked my bag all alone. No one said a word to me. As I was closing my locker the boy I had noticed since the first day of school stopped in front of me and said to me "You look really nice today, hope you had a good birthday. I was too nervous to say Happy Birthday on Friday" I think I muttered an intelligent response but honestly I do not remember. I was so in shock, this boy didn't talk to any girls unless he had to. As we were standing there staring at each other dumb founded, a girl from across the hall said very loudly, "Look shes bleeding" then proceeded to laugh along with other girls. The boy looked down and asked me if I was okay at this point, I couldn't figure out what he was talking about when I looked down and noticed down the leg of my brand new white jeans and in my lap was a huge spot of bright red blood. Now my Mom had told me in a couple years I would begin to 'cycle' and it would be nothing to be scared about just let her know if I started to bleed and she would tell me more then, so it wasn't like I was scared, but standing in the hallway in my brand new white jeans with a boy who was actually nice with blood running down my leg, I started to bawl. I didn't know what to do, I couldn't hide it so I burst into tears. Which then led me to being so embarrassed I promptly threw up all over this poor boys shoes.
By now you all have either laughed hysterically or been mortified for me, but either way its okay. This is how I entered woman hood! Yep God's cruel joke to me. As the years have gone by I realize how much that one day affected my whole life. I learned in that one day to be shy and self conscious, and to never fully trust. Over the years I have had to work hard to get past those things I learned that day, and other days like that one. This boy, I graduated with him and always had a crush on him, but I never again talked to him. Not once. I have run into his Mom once or twice when I am home and she always has a smile and talks to me asking about the family and telling me news of her son. He is happily married now, with a new little one. I will always remember him with kindness and fondness, along with forever being mortified that I threw up and burst into tears when he was trying to be so brave and get past his own shyness. Poor guy! I am sure he doesn't remember any of it now, after all it was my humiliating moment not his, but I do remember what he did and will forever be thankful for a friend in that moment.
Instead of laughing or making gaging sounds and poking fun, this boy asked another student to go get a teacher took my hand and led me to the girls rest room. Never saying a word just supporting me and knowing instinctively I would never make it there alone. He removed me from the stares and jokes, stepping outside his own comfort level to help someone in desperate need, walking in puke soaked shoes and never saying a word of complaint or blame for him having to obviously replace his shoes.
This is the most important thing I learned that day. Friendship doesn't always have to speak in words, because actions speak more clearly then words ever could.
As I continue to grow and develop and find new friends or an old one will be on my mind and I will end up praying for them, I know that one little innocent thing that I have done or have said may mean every thing to that person even though in a month I may not remember it. There are times to be vocal, and times when you need to stand up and fight and support, and I wish I could say I have had that in my life. I can say I have been vocal when the time warrants and when someone is being railroaded unfairly, I have been the one to make every effort to make it known we can not be scared of consequences because if no one stands up things will never change. I am not talking about those times. I am talking about the times when there really isn't anything you can do. I am talking about the times when the battle is internal or personal. Thats where in times of need, to just stand there by their side. Never saying a word but not running away, standing with my hand in theirs in silent support. This is the way I live. I may not tell you what I am thinking and I may not agree with your choices. I may have strong opinions about whats going on and if asked I may share a little of my thoughts with you, but for my part whatever you have done- whatever you believe- and whether your right or wrong, I want to be the friend that stands by quietly supporting and letting you know your not alone. Even if I get covered in puke..........