I am so very excited to share my guest today. “Little Dude” and his mother, Samara who writes A Buick in the Land of Lexus, are two of the smartest people I know. I have had the wonderful pleasure of seeing snippets of their life, how they interact, and how they love each other and I am blessed by them. He will surely hijack your heart here.
Today, bullying has become a major part of school life. It should have never become this way. It affects the lives of too many children of our world. Bullies themselves have felt bullied, either physically or emotionally, and victims of bullying usually go on to become even worse bullies themselves. Many bullies have become the way they are due to isolation, neglect, or just being labeled by others as “different.” A bully can be created from something so small, such as wanting attention. To my surprise, it turns out that I actually know someone who has become a terrible bully.
Five years ago, my playmate Kylie was my best friend. Every day of kindergarten seemed like another game of giggles and smiles. She was a girly girl who liked clothes and accessories, but she was also a tomboy. That was just her. She ran and climbed and played all the same games with me. We would hide in our cubbies and peel our string cheese together at lunch. Of course came the boring part – learning in school. Thankfully we didn’t have too much of that in Kindergarten. It’s finger painting with chocolate pudding, not rocket science. All in all, we were just two best friends at school.
We really had hit it off, so we had several play dates together. I remember our first play date, when my mom got us each kits with piggy banks to decorate. We painted our piggy banks. Then we ran around the house, playing hide and seek and just acting silly. My mom made lunch for us, and she served us Gluten Free Chicken Nuggets. To this day we still laugh about this, because Kylie bit into hers and squealed “EWWWWW!” I told Kylie, “Oh, keep eating them! They get even MORE disgusting!”
This was in kindergarten, and now I’m in fifth grade. We now go to different schools, so I haven’t seen her since a party another child threw at the end of kindergarten. I heard from my mom that she got really into surfing. I have always just thought of her as the little girl I used to play with in kindergarten. I know that next year I will be in the same middle school as her, and I was looking forward to it. At least, I was – until what I heard about her.
At my Hebrew school, I was talking to some other students and heard that Rachel, a classmate, goes to the same school that Kylie does. I asked her, “Do you know a girl named Kylie? We used to play in kindergarten.” The girl thought for a minute, and then said, “K-k-ylie, Kylie S?” I answered back that she was correct. Rachel cringed. She explained to me that Kylie had become a bully. A really bad one, too. She has become a “mean girl” and girls are afraid of her. I couldn’t believe what I heard. The harmless girl I used to play with was hurting other children. Rachel went on in detail, describing Kylie’s fist fights, name calling. She even has a posse of girls who follow her around, imitating everything she does. Targeting and bullying random girls.
I was just in shock…
What has happened to my best friend from kindergarten? I can’t imagine what has happened to make her this way. I am curious to see what will happen in middle school. We always said, and so did our moms, that we would meet up again and be good friends in middle school. But how can I be friends with someone like that? When I come across the new Kylie, can I help bring her back to her old self? How will I feel if I see her and her “mean girls” picking on some of the girls I have become friends with these last few years? How do you even talk to someone about what they are doing, and how wrong it is?
I was looking forward to seeing her again in middle school, but I want to be friends with the old Kylie, the girl who laughed constantly and played tag and climbed monkey bars with me. I have learned over the years that bullying is just wrong. Period. I really just hope Kylie isn’t as much of a bully as she is made out to be. Maybe she’s been going through some stuff and seeing an old friend will help her remember who she used to be. Maybe, just maybe, she’ll be my friend and she’ll turn back into the old Kylie. I really hope so. Not just for the sake of the kids she picks on.
For her own sake.
BIO: When Little Dude isn’t being a fifth grader, he’s a Space Pirate from another galaxy. He lives with the coolest Mom around, but only because she made me say that.