I have a very yummy – and natural! – kettle corn giveaway here!
Growing up, I moved around a lot. Well, somewhat a lot – I know people who moved way more than me, but … point being we moved six times before I hit the fourth grade. Generally, I was fine with that. I always loved exploring new places and meeting new friends and the like. I’m lucky that way.
It was slightly different when I moved to that new school in fourth grade though. While my parents are by no means poor, we are absolutely not conspicuously wealthy either. The Catholic school they sent me to? Wow.
The conversations – at fourth grade – were about the pool at the country club, the boating they did on the weekend, the designer jeans, etc etc.
And me? I had no country club. I’d never been on a boat. And jeans? Ha! My conservative mom had never bought me any. I honestly didn’t own a pair.
As I started to see the lay of the land, I began begging my mom for some of these things – not realizing the cost of a country club membership or how far out of reach that would be. We never did join that country club. And we never got a boat.
On the plus side, we became really good friends with a couple people who had a boat who invited us on it regularly. And I became good friends with a couple of girls who also didn’t do the boating thing (by choice) where it wasn’t a focus.
Since it was the 80’s, once I convinced my mom to buy me some Jordache jeans, I eventually learned how to roll them up properly so that I fit in. Mostly.
But oh that terror in my heart, the fear that seized me and froze me when the girls would start to talk and then just … look at me. Waiting for me to contribute. And in the fourth grade, I didn’t have anything to contribute.
It was the hardest time I ever had fitting in, and my mom didn’t get it. I was reminded of this struggle when reading Girl in Translation recently by Jean Kwok (which I highly recommend reading – loved, loved, loved this book). In the end, I found my place in that school and in that town, but it was so different from anything I’d experienced prior to that.
And honestly? It was probably a very healthy eye-opening experience. For me to see the difference in people so starkly, to see the focus on wealth and learn how to deal with it when I … wasn’t quite in their league, I think made me a far stronger and happier person.
It allowed me the happiness to buy a house that we can afford rather than stretching. And it allowed me the courage to finally quit my job to stay home with the wee ones – a far more important job, anyway.
What lessons has your childhood taught you?
This post is a part of is Silicon Valley Mom’s Blog book club. Go check out what this book inspired in other moms. I received a copy of the book to inspire my post (and highly recommend it), but this is not a review, nor did I receive any compensation for writing this post.