In 2011, in the midst of great heartache and sleepless nights, I published what is still, to this day, my most widely read blog post ever, An Open Letter to my Daughter’s Bullies, Including But Not Limited to The Mean Girls. It was a tough time in our lives. My daughter Casey was 14. And 14 was not a good year. In fact, 13 had not been a good year. 15 wasn’t great either. Middle school was not kind to her. And despite our best efforts as parents, things were not getting better. The bullying at school had reached an all-time high, and Casey’s self-esteem and head space about life in general had reached an all- time low.
There are far too many details to include in this post that would betray way too much of our family’s privacy– of Casey’s– but suffice it to say, from the time she was a baby, this sweet baby girl was different. Special. Intuitive. Kind. Tender. Brilliant. Sad. And the world is not kind to people who are different. And shame on us. Shame on us for thinking that everyone needs to look and act and think exactly like we do. What a gray and lifeless place this world would be. Most of the beauty and brilliance in this world comes from people who are different. Thank God. Thank God they are different. They have gifts the rest of us don’t have and most of us are far too blind and narrow-minded to see it. Myself included.
Casey is a gifted writer. And today, her very first article has been published in the Buffalo News. The road here– to this smiling, successful, confident young woman, has been paved with blood, sweat and tears. Ten million appointments, CSE Meetings (Parents who know what that means…you get it…) true grit, heartache, and struggle. But it’s also been marked by love. By great bravery. By persistence. By mini triumphs along the way that felt like gigantic victories. And the point of this whole thing is not to laud Casey, per se. And it’s not to tell her bullies and haters to SUCK ON THIS. (Although maybe just a tiny bit)
It’s really this: To tell other strugglers out there in the trenches– parents and kids alike: Keep going. Don’t quit. Don’t stop. Don’t give up or give in. Take whatever spark you see and fix your eyes on it. Get down on your hands and knees and blow on it. Fan the tiniest flame, no matter how dim. Because if you will. If you will keep adding tinder and kindling and sticks and branches and logs…one day it will catch. And you’ll have the most spectacular bonfire your eyes have ever seen.
Casey girl, you’re on fire, my love. Don’t stop now.
Today was supposed to be my first installment of It’s Thursday. And This is What I’m Reading. However, I have happily been upstaged by my daughter HAVING AN ARTICLE PUBLISHED IN THE NEWSPAPER. Mama can wait ’til next week.
5 thoughts on “Catching Fire in the Trenches”
What a super article. So well written, you could feel the pride (IN all of us)
LikeLiked by 2 people
Awesome blog! Kudos to both you and Casey. Strength and beauty,making a difference in all our lives.
LikeLiked by 1 person
It seems to be, and stands to reason, that the people in life who are the most compassionate, the most caring, the most empathetic, are those that have been there. Without having lived through some of the things that other people tell you about, they are just sad stories. But to those, too, that have been through the grit, and muck, and dragged through the mud of life, you can look at them and say, with your heart more than your voice, “I GET it”. The ability to translate that into words that others can share and draw inspiration from, is truly a gift from God.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Jim, Thanks so much for your insightful and beautiful comment. I appreciate you reading and following along…
Reblogged this on Nihil Sine Deo and commented:
Excelente artículo acerca de la lucha de una familia contra el acoso o “bullying”, además de estar hermosamente escrito.
Definitivamente lo que más rescataría de él, es el consejo que la autora da al final.
“No te rindas, no renuncies. Toma la chispa que puedas ver y sopla en ella, avienta su llama, sin importar qué tan pequeña sea. Porque si continúas, si le agregas carbón, palitos, troncos, algún día se prenderá y entonces tendrá la más espectacular fogata que tus ojos hayan visto.”
Qué hermoso mensaje.
Pues si te empeñas en soñar te empeñas en aventar la llama de tu vida. (Rubén Darío)Frases y Citas de Rubén Darío
Excellent article worth reading. I especially loved the last part. What a great advice and message!