Monday, 23 November 2020

Stand up, out of the blue

Eight or nine days ago, one of my lovely nieces messaged me out of that place of mystery we intelligently call 'the blue'.

"I hope you are doing well!" she wrote, adding, "I had been possessed by a memory of you recently."

Naturally, I replied to her questions, but I was not going to let niceties get in the way of the real (true-blue) stuff. 

"I would love to know what memory it is that possessed you," I said.

She then sent me a voiceclip with two stories. The first was one I'd as good as forgotten. I thank her for granting me permission to share it on my blog.

She was in Grade 6 - that would have made her roughly 11 years old at the time. She went to a party, safe and supervised and so on. A boy approached her, spoke disrespectfully - "rudely, very rude". He was "disgusting", and also flashed her.

She hit and kicked him, kicked him.

Back home, she told her parents, everything. 

Her father was upset - with: everything. The boy, her, just everything. Her mother was worried about her impulsiveness, the risk she'd taken by her spontaneous, violent self-defence. It was an unresolved issue in the home, and in her self.

A week later, I visited with my family. We were told the story. Apparently - I remember it, now that she's re-told it all - among all the adults present, I got up and went to her in the playroom, where she was watching tv or playing a video game, and I gave her a thumbs-up.

"You did good," I told her, "you gave that boy exactly what he deserved."

I remember feeling that it was important to let her know I trusted and approved of her body's spontaneous response to the disrespect, which had injured her spirit and person.

She said that I was the only person, until that point, completely to support what she had done. Coming from her aunt, it was clear: "It was okay for me to stand up for myself as a girl."

Photo by Sam Schooler on Unsplash

The second memory is gentler. It belongs in a separate blog, which will arrive in time, out of the blue.

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