It’s not news to anyone that it’s cold. I mean really cold. The kind of cold that takes your breath away and makes you wonder if it will ever be warm again. The kind of snow that makes you want to punch snowmen and curse at the wind. Since I park in a ramp that isn’t exactly next to my building, every morning I bundle up for the polar trek into work. I layer up, put on boots, a hat, mittens and lastly, a scarf. And just about every morning when I tie that scarf around my neck, I’m taken back to a time when my 10-year-old self was wishing she had forgone a scarf that day.
Don’t get me wrong, I had a pretty great childhood. I was lucky – I wasn’t picked on a lot and I had great friends. But I was always the shortest kid in the class – like a lot shorter than most everyone else, which meant being called "shrimp" or "munchkin" were commonplace. I also was pretty successful academically which earned me additional names like "poindexter" or "nerd." I took to heart the sticks and stones attitude and tried not to let it bother me.
But one winter afternoon, for reasons I still don’t understand, a couple of older kids took it upon themselves to pick on the small girl.