I can’t believe this. My poor little girl…
Being eleven is always full of ups and downs anyway. Part of growing up, right? And my Harper’s no stranger to a few bumps in the road, unfortunately… But this is probably worse than ever.
Hope and I were speechless when we found out. Our Harper, our baby girl, got detention. For fighting!
She’s told us about this Katie girl before. We even had a meeting with her teacher once to get her seat moved as far away from her as possible. So I guess this shouldn’t have come as a total surprise… But for my little girl to actually hit someone? Be violent?
That’s not like her. At all.
But when we questioned her about it, you know what she said? “It was justice, Papa! I was being a vigilante, just like you said.”
Yeah, that was a fun one to explain to Hope. I mean, I thought she was just taking an interest in superheroes or something. Working on that little story of hers. I didn’t really think anything of it when she started asking me about superheros and vigilantes.
Guess I learned my lesson… And I guess Harper learned hers too.
I understand why she got detention, of course. And we told her we’d ground her if she ever did it again (God, I hope we never actually have to do that to our little girl… but what else could we say?).
But when she told us all that shit this Katie girl had said about her and her friends, I honestly couldn’t blame her. And I’m so glad this other girl was punished too. But how the hell did the school even let things get this far in the first place?! Hope and I already have a meeting scheduled with the principal tomorrow. We aren’t gonna let them sweep this under the rug like they have before.
Believe it or not, all this teasing was even worse when she was younger. My little girl needed speech therapy until about two years ago. Her hearing made things so hard for her. And she used to get teased pretty badly for the way she talked. But Harper is still our little fighter, and she worked so hard to get where she is today.
So why can’t she finally catch a break?
Hope and I already felt so bad for her after what happened at football tryouts. She gave it her all, just like she always does. The poor thing always has to try so much harder than the other kids. But Harper was still so sure they were going to keep her off the team… And we weren’t about to let that happen.
She kept telling us to just drop it, and saying the same thing she always does — “I’m not perfect”. But I know what that really means. She doesn’t think she’s good enough. She’s let these other kids put her down so much that it’s starting to get to her. And it kills me to hear her say stuff like that. I’m not gonna let her think about herself that way.
It’s not her fault she has asthma. It’s not her fault she’s hard of hearing. It’s not her fault she’s weaker than the other kids. And then this other girl has the gall to give her shit for it? To tease her for being the way she is? Something she has no control over?
It was all I could do not to congratulate Harper for standing up to this bully. I mean, of course she shouldn’t have hit her. But that’s better than just standing there and taking it, isn’t it?
I never had that kind of courage when I was a kid. There were some little shits who used to tease me about my scar (or worse, “not having parents”. God, how many nights did I cry myself to sleep over that one?). I never had the guts to say anything to their faces. Looking back, I sure as hell wish I did. Instead, it was usually one of the triplets who’d stick up for me… (Or all three, in some rare cases)
Hope and I are still really worried though. I’m glad she stood up for herself, but Harper got lucky this time. Katie didn’t get a chance to fight back before a teacher intervened. But what if she did?
I love my little girl, but I just can’t imagine she’d be able to hold her own in a fight. I feel sick just thinking about what could happen to her next time… If there is a next time. I’m sure as hell hoping there won’t be!
Tante Joce has been telling us we’re worrying way too much. “She can figure these things out on her own,” she keeps saying. And I totally understand what she’s getting at.
But not worrying is way easier said than done. She’s our baby girl. After everything we’ve lost, well… She’s our entire world. She’s the most precious thing in our lives.
We just want her to do well. We want her to believe in herself. And we want her to be safe too.
God, I’ve gotta calm down. I’d probably go crazy if Tante Joce ever worried about me this much when I was Harper’s age….
But I just can’t help it.
I’ve never forgotten what my Opa told me all those years ago… The same day we found out Harper’s hearing would never be the same again. He made me promise I’d always support her, no matter what. That I’d always be there for her, and never turn my back. And every single day, I do everything I can to keep that promise.
I’ve gotta make sure she knows that me and Hope will always be on her side… Especially when she has to deal with all the crap she’s been facing lately. Between her grades, football tryouts, and this bully of hers, it sure as hell hasn’t been easy. And I think it’s been a huge blow to my baby’s self-esteem. It kills me to hear her talking down about herself. I wish she realized how amazing she really is.
I just want her to be safe, y’know? And happy. Screw the bullies. Screw the people who don’t believe in her. Screw anyone who’d try to hold her back.
She’s my strong, smart, amazing little girl. And she can do anything she puts her mind to.
Well, anything except dish out vigilante justice, I guess. But hopefully that was just a one time thing.