My Inner Child

I buttoned my Peter Pan-collared white shirt. I pulled my maroon and gray plaid jumper over my head. I pulled up my matching marron socks, slid on my loafers and slipped my arms into the maroon sweater. My 7-year old self felt ready for school. As I arrived, all the girl’s outfits matched. We lined up next to the boys dressed in white shirts, navy slacks and maroon ties. It looked like we were on the same team. I felt like I belonged on this team. Belonging is important.

However, my adult-self wonders about that child. Sitting all day in her classroom taught by white nuns and surrounded by white kids. Learning to read with the Dick and Jane readers to then graduate to textbooks sharing a one-side white history of America.

This summer I’ve been reading antiracist history books and listening to antiracist podcasts. Now I see that girl in the jumper differently. Now I see my adult-self as someone who needs to know more. Someone who needs to wake up and stand up for all. 


  NOTE: I wrote this piece during a PD called Trauma Informed Writing Workshop offered by Arlene Casimir, a staff developer at TCRWP. (She is offering this PD 2x more on Friday, August 14th, $50. I recommend).

Steps:
1. With my non-dominate hand, sketch myself as a child. (a quick 1-minute sketch)
2. Name the age of the child in my sketch.
3. With my non-dominate hand, write the story this child wants to tell.
4. Ask yourself after writing, what does this child need to hear?
I followed these steps and also added my own adult-self reflection in this slice.

9 thoughts on “My Inner Child

  1. Fran McCrackin says:

    It is really effective, opening this piece with the photo of your non-dominant hand-writing. And the memory of how we dress for that first day of school is universal. Then, of course, you self-examine, and it becomes relevant in an entirely different way. Your short piece takes us a long way.
    A good exercise to try 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Terje says:

    Fascinating writing exercise. The thing with identities is that they change over time. This is good. You keep growing and learning and becoming a better version of self.

    Like

  3. TammyB says:

    I have not done an exercise like this in a long while! Thank you for posting it. I have written and looked away from the page. Thank you for the prompt questions at the bottom too. Off to write now!

    Like

  4. beckymusician says:

    This is such on interesting writing prompt. Our childhood memories are often mysterious but clear in our memories. I am inspired to think back on my childhood memories and take another look at some of them.

    Like

  5. mgminer says:

    Sally, you always bring fresh light to your work. You inspire me to go deeper in my reflection. I am reading and rereading Stamped as I consider the many ways my understanding can broaden. The labor to write with your non-dominant hand was a labor of love. And as always, your description has such lovely detail and you make us think! Good luck in these next weeks. I’m cheering for you!

    Like

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