Friday, February 22, 2008


I remember walking into school when I was in second grade. My mom drove a brown station wagon at the time. The doors were so heavy on that sucker. I just knew that if I smashed my finger in that door they would fall off. I still have a fear of loosing a finger in a car door. The circle drive in front of Southwest Elementary School was fine gravel. I can still hear the sounds of the crackling car pool. Parents and big yellow buses pulled through and dropped their kids off. My sister was in Kindergarten at this time so we went to a different school than me. So, I walked in alone. I've never really liked walking in alone. There is some comfort to walking in with someone even if it is your lil' sister. I felt more at ease. We were with each other. We belong together. I walked up the three little steps off the circle drive then down four steps to the breeze way that lead to my class room where Ms. Mc was my teacher (this was not her name but for privacy we will refer to her as that). This walk lead past the principles office, past two first grade classes and then a right hand turn through the second grade door. This was not a place I wanted to go. I hated second grade. I felt like I didn't belong.

We spent a lot of time at church when I was a kid. Then the rest of our time we spent playing or watching sports. For me these two worlds did not ever intersect (except for church softball league and those games made me nervous because again these worlds should not be meeting.) I loved church. I loved the people, my friends, the old people, the weird people who raised their hands, I loved all the hugging, and singing. I felt like I had a place there. People knew me. I belonged to them. They belong to me. My family had a place to set that was our spot. I knew where everyone else would set too. No pressure or lonely feelings for me there as a child. Same at the softball fields where I grew up. I knew who would be there. I knew what we would do. I knew where we would play and set. I loved the people, my friends, the old people, the weird people who drank to much, and the old drunks who lived under the bridge. These folks knew me. I belong to them. They belong to me. These are places that I belonged. They were very different but yet so much a like.

In church my Dad was the guy who made most people feel uncomfortable because he spoke his mind, and cursed and chewed tobacco. Things things are still true about him. However at the softball field my dad was the conservative one. The hard working dad who was dedicated to his wife and kids. He was the one who would not drink to much, who didn't smoke cigarettes and though he cursed never dropped big curse words. Who he was moved him to the edge of belonging at both places. I wonder where he felt most comfortable where he felt he fit the most at ease. Judgment is a great isolator. So, I bet it was at the softball fields.

I have always had lots of friends. I don't remember hanging out or playing in the second grade. I wish I could say that once I made that right hand turn into Ms. Mc's class I belonged but that was not the case. Our teacher had our desks in rows, two on each side of the room that faced each other. Our desks layed against each other at each end. That was as affectionate as that room ever got. I remember being cold all the time. Maybe it was the cold Oklahoma wind, or the brick and cement walls but this was not a happy place. She was not warm...She would walk up and down the rows holding her ruler in her hand. She used it as a pointer. It felt like prison to me. She was the guard and the ruler was her night stick. She didn't seem to want us there. Maybe we were just a wild group. The only other thing I remember from second grade is Charlie Beavers eating glue. Charlie Beavers made fun of me all the time. I did not belong to him and he did not belong to me.

Having someone to belong to just makes life easier. I like knowing certain people are my people. I belong to them. They belong to me. Not like property but like good memories belong to us. They are ours. Nothing can change that. I feel this way when I am with my family...Brian and the kids are my beloveds...and I am theirs. We belong to each other. I feel this way with my brothers and sisters and my mom and dad. We go together...sometimes it feels like oil and water but we are each other's. I have friendships like this. I belong to you. Now, I am not alone. It gives me peace when I am alone. I don't have to many lonely walks down breeze ways anymore. I know these people are with me. I have a place I belong. It doesn't feel like prison. It feels like home. It is warm even in cold winds.

This sense of belonging started for me when I started to understand I belong to God and he belongs to me. That he chose me and I chose Him. (He has chosen all of us by the way!) When I got this relationship right all the others seem fall into place in my mind and heart and soul. No longer was I looking like a lonely Jr high girl for a click. I just want to me known for my own truth and then accepted. Not with a rubber stamp "quality inspected" but more like "authentic." Like my 100 year old table. It make have flaws but it is the real deal. I love it because it is real. It belongs to me imperfections and all. Like my memories of playing with my sister and our friends in the red dirt late at night under the score keepers box at the softball fields. Our bellies full of pop corn and cold soda. The smell of cheep beer in the air. My mom with a score keepers pad in her lap. My dad at the pitcher's mound. Chuck on third, uncle David (my dad's best friend) on first. Bug bits itching, dirt up my shorts, bear feet cooled by the dirt I sat in, runny noses....These memories are mine...those people were mine...they belong to me...I belong to them....feels good.

1 comment:

shannon said...

I'm so excited I had time to read your blog today!! I love this blog entry!! ( I love them all). My heart so resonates with this!! Even the part of 2nd grade being lonely!! I am so glad you belong, I belong, we belong to God and to each other!! Sometimes being a grown up can be hard, but it's worth it to have learned that life lesson.
I love you!! S