I still remember my grade school days. Some happenings were worth remembering like making friends and learning to read and write. Others not so great, like bullying second graders making fun of me for various reasons.
One time in first grade, humiliated by an incident in class, I became afraid to go to school. I pretended to be sick and my mother, feeling sorry for me, let me stay home. Sometimes, I could fool my parents, but I didnít get away with it for long.
After the third grade, I became less sensitive and going to school no longer terrified me.
Looking back, one event in grade school taught me about courage and humiliation. I surprised myself in how I dealt with it.
In the fourth grade, my class had a program, and we were to invite our parents to see us perform. I happened to be in two different acts: one playing a duet on the piano,and in the other, I played a gypsy.
My mom made a beautiful outfit with an orange vest that I loved. I couldnít wait to wear it and perform the dance.
The day arrived: parents, students, the nuns, and our pastor were in the audience. I played my piano duet with Sandy and left for a quick change of clothes. I ran to the washroom to put on the skirt; I used a safety pin to fasten the skirt because the button fell off. I hurried back to the platform, grabbed my tambourine, and joined the other girls for the dance.
The music started. We came out, tambourines in hand, and started the dance. Everything was going great until the safety pin broke and my skirt fell to the floor. I stood there in my slip while people laughed. Father Dennisís face turned red. He tried hard to hold in the laugher, but lost it a moment later.
The word embarrassment doesnít describe how I felt. What I did next even surprised me. I picked up the skirt, held it up with one hand, and held the tambourine with the other. I finished the dance and left like nothing had happened.
It took courage to stand there when people were laughing at me. I didnít think it was funny, but I strongly believe the Lord gave me the courage; I know I would have run off the minute my skirt fell to the floor. My self-esteem stayed intact even when I saw my mother laughing, too.
At the time, I didnít have a personal relationship with the Lord, but I am thoroughly convinced that He was with me when I picked up my skirt and continued the dance. I also thanked the Lord that I wore a slip.
Believe or not, I played Mary at Christmas and lost my veil. I didnít run then either.
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