The Small Things

Vanessa Albino, Editor

It’s always the small things that stick with you. Unimportant things like getting scolded by my kindergarten teacher for taking the stairs two steps at a time. Or when that same teacher got angry at me for whispering to my friends during a read-aloud and punished me by giving everyone in the class a teddy bear … except me. 

These seemingly insignificant memories grow into something much bigger and over time they start to eat you alive. Over 11 years later, and I still wish that I could go back in time and scream at my teacher and tell her how rude and insolent she was. 

It’s almost ironic how I can barely remember what my childhood home looked like, yet I can still picture her ugly red lipstick, that scratchy rug with ABC’s on it where we would read children’s books, and the sound of her chomping on a leafy green salad during lunch. 

Growing up, I’ve realized that those little moments stuck with me because they were humiliating. I couldn’t help balling myself up in my arms on my desk and crying my eyes out when I didn’t receive a teddy bear. It wasn’t my fault that I cried, I was a child. But it’s that feeling of incompetence and stupidity that made that specific memory stick with me. 

My mom says that I never cried much as a child and that might be true, but I do know that the amount of times I burst into tears in that classroom was immeasurable. There’s just something about being disciplined by an adult that makes you feel so vulnerable and small. 

Maybe I’m just really sensitive, maybe it wasn’t even that big of a deal,  maybe I might just have some weird obsession with holding grudges over nothing. But I do truly think it’ll be a long time before I fully heal my childhood wounds.