24 February 2013


Each year of elementary school, the nurse would come talk about lice. Sometimes the class would have to file up one by one to have a comb run through our hair, just to make certain we weren't infected/infested.  Sometimes we just sat at our hinged desks, itching and hoping that it was just our imaginations.

In first grade, Tabitha got lice.  Tabitha was an intellectually disabled girl in my class, and her limited speech and ignorance to the incontrovertible social cues of 7-year olds made her a schoolyard target.  We saw, but did not understand, the filthy yellow dress and unkept hair, and so the sing-song insult "You like Tabitha" became the standard recess rebuttal.  It was a small cruelty, or rather a full-sized cruelty by small people.

No one was really surprised when the nurse's comb stopped at Tabitha.  She had to stay home from school for two weeks, which may have been a relief for her.    

Thinking about Tabitha makes my soul itch and hope it's just my imagination.

"To this Day" by Shane Koyczan

1 comment:

Annie Traynor said...

How do you do it? Seriously, you have a gift for touching hearts with words in the most natural way I have ever seen. Thanks for this reminder of why I want to treat others with more tenderness. Makes me think of the Walk Two Moons philosophy.

I hope you are doing well and I miss seeing you!