Friday, July 30, 2010

A Childhood Regret

Today I was going to bring attention to our Mustangs plight and survival. However after a conversation last night with two of my daughters, today's subject has been changed.
One of my daughters asked me if there was anything from my childhood that I regret. Without hesitation I answered yes.

Of course they wanted to know what it was. So I told them. Afterwards they looked at me and couldn't believe I did what I did. They brought to my attention that I had taught them to accept people for who they are, not to pass judgement and most of all to be nice.

Then they looked at me and said they understood why I taught them what I had. But for me to understand and to teach my kids, I had to hurt someone feelings.

So here is my confession of a childhood regret.

It was the fourth grade. There was a girl, ( her name Elizabeth) and who was very heavy. Lived in the poorest house in town. She had no friends at the school. Her house was filled with family and relatives. And she had, well, really bad body odor all the time.

Well, one day a bunch of friends and I walked over to the play area where the playground equipment was. Elizabeth was sitting by herself on one of the pieces of equipment. When she saw us walking towards the area she got down and walked away. One of my friends made some comment about her having body odor and you could always tell she had been somewhere by the smell she left behind. So, being thesmartass I was, I walked over to the piece of equipment she was on and smelled it ( no, not exactly where she was sitting on it), then made a very loud comment to my friends that yes, the stink was still there.

Elizabeth heard me. She turned around and our eyes met. I can still see the hurt in her eyes. I wanted to walk over and apologize, but I didn't. Instead I chose to 'save face' and walked back to my friends who kept saying that they couldn't believe I did that. Here it was, they talked trash about Elizabeth behind her back all the time but never wanted her to hear it. And me, being a dumb ass, said it loud and clear.

It bothered me a lot and there were days I went out of my way and walked past her house so I could apologize. I couldn't do the right thing and apologize at school. No, that wouldn't be 'cool' ( sentence said in a very sarcastic tone). I never did see Elizabeth outside her house. And I never did the right thing and for hurting her feelings. In time her family and her moved away.

Even after all these years, and take my word for it, it has been a long time. I still regret not apologizing to Elizabeth. The harm and hurt I caused her.

So, to Elizabeth wherever you are, I am truly, truly sorry for what I said and not doing the right thing and apologize for the hurtful remark. All because I wanted to, "save face with my friends".

Yes, I am still outspoken. But in a much more productive way.

Do you have a childhood regret?

Until next time................


  1. WOW, that was very touching Cindy, it's amazing what we carry along with us as kids way into our adulthood, whether you were at the dishing out end and felt bad or at the receiving end. It doesn't matter, some things stay with us forever.

  2. Either the giver or receiver of such things, has a heavy load. I wish you would have had the chance to apologize but you wouldn't have had an experience to tell your children, it wouldn't have been something that stuck with you. A lesson learned is not a lesson, if you get out of it so easily. Not that you should be kicking yourself all over the place, you were, what, nine?

    When I was about that age, my Father worked from home - casting figurines out of plaster and painting them. It gave me eczema really bad. I wore long sleeves all the time, to cover up my "shame", I met a girl and we became friends. She took me home, to see if I could spend the night. You would have thought I was a leper, and this was from a grown woman! There's more to it than that, but she was screaming that I would give her daughter that horrible stuff! I got that a lot. I was a "receiver"

    many times.........

  3. I so wish Elizabeth would read this -- it truly comes from your heart. I once did something to a teacher I thought had been unfair to another student, but did get to apologize and explain myself. Because I was sooo tall, I was beaten up by boys in grade school and teased and so on. I went to girls only schools as soon as I could. You should know, it did me no permanent harm -- I always liked boys!!! Probably Elizabeth got over it too.

  4. what a lovely post

    we all he ghosts like this dont we?

    I will write mine on my blog tomorrow

  5. I was always the receiver too.... even back then if I thought I woud hurt anybody's feeling , it would haunt me for years and I would beat myself up over it, over and over again...I have a hard time forgiving myself...not others.

  6. I think the silver lining here is that you know how much you've grown and matured--some people never do, you know.

    I'll have to ponder if I have a childhood regret. I think I was more the receiver, as a previous commenter put it. But I'm sure I was on the giving end at least once.

  7. I have to agree with Sharon about how important it is to learn from our regrets. If you had not had this experience, how different would you be today? Again, we can't beat ourselves up over these things. We can only make sure we change ourselves and try to encourage others' change as well. An apology would probably have made you feel better, but I doubt it would have helped her as much. We apologize to make ourselves feel better; we forgive to make ourselves feel better.


  8. You were a child and you must forgive yourself for not knowing any better at the time. You have certainly redeemed yourself!
    If it wasn't for this experience and all the others you have had, you wouldn't be the person you are today.

    I wish I hadn't gotten so upset with my parents when I was growing up. I remember a time when I was yelling at them for something that I thought was wrong on their part. I could see that they had no idea what I was ranting about and didn't understand MY point at all. Taught me to appreciate that their that they had their ideas and were entitled to them. Big lesson for me.

  9. Thanks for sharing this post. I find it amazing that we retain these memories basically forever, whether we were the giver or receiver. Most of us would like to 'let them go' but we are all bits and pieces of our life's experiences, and can only hopefully at some point accept them as part of us. I was more often the 'receiver' but I do regret that when I saw others being shamed or hurt that I was too fearful of 'peer pressure' to step up. It enrages me today when I see ADULTS that think it's cute and what(?) to belittle others for their looks or station in life. I just can't understand the mentality. It's one thing for a child who is still learning how to treat those around them, but an entirely different thing coming from a supposedly grown up. It also angers me when parents see their children in these situations and do not correct them, or explain to them, but instead ignore it, as heaven forbid their child was 'different' and had compassion. Again thanks for sharing!

  10. catchin up on blogs and always read yours...
    my regret? I made my Mom cry one time! I was 16...enough said. Now my Mom just I have 5 children of my own! :)


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