Tuesday, August 12, 2008

An Open Apology to Kirk

Dear Kirk

I am sorry that I did not stick up for you more in the first grade
I am sorry that I didn't ask you to come to my house to play
I am sorry that you didn't get to live with a forever family
I am sorry that the kids at school were so horrible to you
I am sorry that they called you "Kirk the Jerk"
I am sorry that I do not remember your last name

If I could have it all to do over
. . . I would have played with you at recess when no one would, EVERY day, not just sometimes
. . . I wouldn't have let go of your hand when we were walking home and other kids were coming
. . . I would have shared my Jos Louis with you on the field trip and sat with you on the bus
. . . I would have been your best friend

I am glad that I kicked those boys HARD with my Cougar boots that day they were bullying you after school. I wish that there wouldn't have been a need for anyone to have to protect you - I wish people could have been nice to you and that grown ups would have made the world a safer place for you.

I think of you often. I feel much shame and sadness for the things that never were and all that should not have been. When I watch my son as he struggles so much to fit in, I often think of you. I will do better by him than what was done for you.

I am sorry and I hope life got better. I hope you found someone to sit with on the bus and who would share their lunch with you.


  1. Oh, it's so heartbreaking to remember how the "special" kids were treated back in the day. I hope and pray that it's better now, but how can we be sure? I owe a lot of apologies to the different kids from my youth. Lovely but sad post.

  2. Thanks Gretchen, this post was a long time in the making. One of those ones that rolled around in my head a very long time before I committed it here. It hurts to think about the past but even more so is realizing that so much remains the same.

  3. I totally have tears streaming down my face right now. I often think of a boy I went to school with - his name was Jeff - same scenario.

    I wanted to be his friend, but was often overcome by peer pressure. I was never mean to him, just afraid to stick up for him more than I did.

    Thank you for such a powerful post.