Freedom Friday- every Friday I am going to free myself from a burden, either an old embarrassing story, a secret phobia, a lie I told and got away with, a fear I can’t win, or something else to be determined. I want to free myself from secrets to end those nagging moments when I can’t sleep at night, or those random thoughts that pop in my head for no reason other than their need to get expelled from my conscious. We all need to free ourselves from self-recrimination, to open ourselves up and vulnerably face our fears. Freedom Friday is my attempt to do that, and in turn take ownership of my guilt so it doesn’t eat me alive anymore.
This Freedom Friday post was supposed to upload automatically last week. I stayed off social media until today and never realized the error. Here is a Freedom Friday post on a Monday where my brain is still vacationing- new posts to come soon though!
Every classroom has one, the kid who looks like they do not shower, the one who smells a little funky by mid-afternoon and makes you want to move your chair away. That was me. I was early to puberty and late to socially mandated expectations of cleanliness. I was the kid that everyone made fun of but few tried to talk to about their “problem”.
I remember a presentation day in 3rd grade, where everyone’s parents came to the classroom and heard the student’s oral history reports. When I was done with mine my mom pulled me to her lap and did the looks like a hug but I am whispering a secret in your ear move. She said “You stink!” and tried to convince me to go and clean up in the bathroom. I was so embarrassed. I’ve since asked my mom about this moment and she has no memory of it happening. Its funny how parents (myself included) can do something so small they don’t remember but for some reason that moment burns a permanent place into their child’s memory.
I spent many years of my life making up for my lack of hygeine in the early years. In 5th grade I decided to be a feminine girl, started showering and wearing make-up. But those years of being the smelly girl will live on in my conscience forever. Now, when I beg my kids to take a bath, or I kiss the top of their head and gag a little from the combination of sweat, summer and childhood, i try to remember how long it took me to catch on to cleanliness and give them a little extra space to figure it out.