Friday, 30 March 2012

My Grandmother: my protector

Julie Anne Rhodes revealed a bullying story today on her blog from when she was a child. I can certainly relate. When I was young I was always called names. Always. Teased for my weight, glasses, braces, my accent when I lived in Michigan - I was Canadian after all! Pretty much everything and anything. Children can be unmitigated assholes to each other. And as children we truly have no concept or ability to deal with the cruelty other children dish out. And for some, childhood can be a complete misery, when it should be fun.

When I was about 7 years old My Mother, sister and I moved in with my Grandparents for about a year. My Mom was saving money and my Grandparents offered to have us live there while she did so. I have some fantastic (and some not so fantastic) memories of living with them. Nothing volatile, but my Mom and my Grandmother would butt heads often so sometimes it would be eggshell city.

My Grandparents lived in a very nice and established neighborhood (upper middle class subdivision that butted up on an upper class subdivision) I loved their house. it was quite similar to the one my parents had owned when they were still married. Same subdivision, around the corner (literally) in fact. But I digress.

My Grandparents home on Google Maps - Slightly different than when they owned it (different windows landscaping and such).

My sister and I went to a school that was about a 5-10 minute walk from my Grandparent's house. 15 if we really dragged our asses. For some reason one day this older boy (I'd guess he was in about grade 7 or so, I was in grade 2) took to tormenting me. One afternoon he decided how fun it would be to pelt me with snowballs all the way home. When we got within eyesight of our houses on our street (he lived kiddy corner to where my Grandmother's house was) he said to me "I'll give you a 10 second head start, you'd better hope I don't catch you." I made it to out in front of his place before he caught hold of the back of my scarf yanking me back and choking me to a stop and then shoving my face into the snow. I remember my world going dark and my face being told, then gasping for air and the world going dark again as he continued his assault against me.
You can see my Grandparents home on the left far corner the house here on the right (where you can only see the garage is where I was...just before the driveway).

The next thing I recall is hearing my Grandmother cursing a blue streak with him by his scruff and me falling to the ground when he left me go. It was a surreal unbelievable moment. here is my Grandmother - in her slippers no less; with this kid now with a terrified look on HIS face being held up by his scruff while this elderly woman lit into him something fierce. She screamed at him something about if she ever saw him touching her Grandchildren again she'd "Force feed him his fucking balls".

I guess my Grandmother had been standing at the front door watching us walk down the street, saw me get launched face first into a snow bank. Kristen had hauled ass down the street to get help from her, she came flying down the driveway telling her to get in the house. After she went all momma bear on his ass she "escorted" him up to his door (read marched his ass while still holding him by the scruff) and promptly told his Mother if he EVER touched me again, she would personally see to it that he never had children but not before she had him charged with assault. I was STUNNED!!

I always appreciated what she did for me that day. I supposed it's nothing less than any caring parental unit would do. But it meant something to me. We lived there for another six months after that happened, never once did he touch or speak to me again. Truthfully, I think he was too afraid to! And had I been him, seeing Grandma come at me the way she did him...I would have been too!!

One Last Glimpse,


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