The Ugly Duckling

Embarrassing parents - swan duckling

Embarrassing parents – swan duckling

Everyone made fun of David. He was born premature but ended up being an obese child. From the time he started Kindergarten he was teased. Fatty fatty two by door can’t get through the kitchen door. Hey watermelon boy.

Even when he was home there was no place to run. His parents picked on him and made rude comments about his weight. The more he was ridiculed the more he remained in his bedroom. He did his homework and ate in his room.

As he got older he would play his music  loud enough to drown out all noises in the house. His nice bike that his grandparents had bought him for his birthday was used primarily for going back and forth to school.

When Grandpa and Grandma would invite him over to their house for an over night visit; this is the only solace he received. They didn’t judge him. In fact they offered him many snacks all being healthy. They made David feel very special; like he was the only kid in the world.

On his 13th birthday he made up his mind he was going to lose the extra weight. Instead of racing home on his bike he remained behind and ran the track behind the school. At home he measured out his own food making sure he didn’t go over the limits of calories.

He went to sleep earlier so the urges to snack were removed. On the weekends he walked around his neighborhood until he was walking two miles each day. Kids at school started noticing and little by little girls were turning  his way.

This gave him even more gumption to keep on pushing himself. He was no longer running the track for a half an hour. He was now running for over an hour after school. The weight dropped quickly. Everyone around him was now paying him big compliments.

His parents took him to the store for clothes shopping. He was able to pick out more modern and up to date clothing. Sometimes when he looked in the mirror he had to take a double look to recognize himself.

One day he was running the track and he collapsed. It was a good thing that the coach had his team out practicing for baseball. One of the team members noticed David on the ground and yelled,” David’s down Coach. Come on everybody, let’s go check him out.”

When the coach checked for a pulse he could barely feel it as it was so soft. He told one of the kids,” Run as fast as you can and have the office call 911.” Soon the ambulance had arrived and found David barely breathing.

They rushed him to the hospital where they discovered he had suffered from a heart attack. Wow, at 13, a heart attack. Several tests were taken and when the results all came back the doctor sat down with the parents of David.

” David has definitely had a heart attack. He has over worked  his heart at his young age. What would make him want to over exert himself to this point? Do either of you know?”

The parents looked at each other and hung their heads down saying, ” No we don’t have any idea why he did this. He wanted to wear clothes that mainly skinny kids wore is all we know.”

The doctor looked at them and he knew by their guilty looks that they had placed the idea in David’s head that he was ugly and fat. He told them, ” Well I am not sure what is going on in the home but a change is needed. He is dehydrated and his blood levels are low. To have a heart problem at this age is unreal.”

He stood up and went back to watch over David. The parents sat out in the waiting room saying nothing. Their guilt eating them up for helping this to happen to their son.

When the doctor went home that night he was telling his family at supper about the young David. One of his daughters asked,” Dad, who is it? What grade is he in? Do we know him?”

” I can’t reveal his name. It is against policy but I can tell you he is around your age.”

The daughter said, ” We have this one kid. Everyone picks on him all the time. The kid’s name is David. He just loves to eat and got himself so fat we all sort of teased him. I know it was wrong Dad, but you just couldn’t help it when you saw him waddling down the school halls. But he has changed. He decided to lose some weight and now he is looking really good. He fits in with the rest of us.”

The doctor hung his head in shame. My own daughter played a part in this. I thought I taught her better than this.

” Everyone has a reason for being different. Whether it is our skin color or our weight, we all have the same hearts. We all feel pain and hurt the same. We all want to feel wanted and needed. No one wants to be made to feel different” Dad said.

” I am ashamed of you. I thought I taught you better than that. How would you feel if you were David? asked the Doctor.

Tears started to fall from her cheeks as she realized what she had done to this student. She had known better but didn’t want to look out-of-place by standing up for David when her friends were making fun of him.

Without the Doctor saying his patient’s name everyone at that dining table knew it was David. The table got very quiet as they finished eating.

About a month went by and David was able to return to school. He had suffered no permanent damages. His age had protected him. When he rode his bike to school and entered the front doors he saw banners hanging from the ceiling.

Each one of them said “Welcome Back David”. There were colorful balloons with streamers hanging from them placed all over the commons. There were arrows pointing towards the auditorium. Strangers to David walked up to him and told him to follow them.

David did as he was told but wondered what in the world was going on. When they entered the double doors they were welcomed by the entire school. All the kids and teachers stood up and started clapping.

Two students guided him to the front and lead him up on the stage. The Principal went to the microphone and welcomed David back to school. David’s classroom went up to the microphone and publicly apologized to David for the way they had treated them. After each student had spoken he was shocked beyond belief.

The two biggest kids that picked on him walked towards him and handed him a trophy. It was a big gold statue of a boy standing with his head held high. He was holding books in one hand and waving with his other hand. The words on the trophy said, To the Most Honorable Student.

David looked at the trophy with tears in his eyes. All of the disappointments and bullying had vanished. He looked up and out over the audience and said, ” Thank-you everybody. I don’t know what to say but thank-you.”

The student body stood up and clapped and cheered him. There was never a lesson they had been taught that school year as important as the one they had learned from David.


Daily Prompt; Buffalo Nickel / The Daily Post

Newborn child, seconds after birth. The umbili...

Dig through your couch cushions, your purse, or the floor of your car and look at the year printed on the first coin you find. What were you doing that year?

1980 penny; this is what I first found. What a great year, yeah right. Swimming in sweat. Overloaded belly. Vomiting every night for the first four months. Yes, I was the oddball of the pack. Instead of reaching for the saltine crackers  before rising out of bed. I was on delay switch until evening. That is when my night sickness arrived. It was timely and on schedule every night. I swear you could set your watch to it.

This was a child that was conceived by error. Not my error, the little flexible thing called an IUD. The doctors raved about it back in the day. Oh this is a wonderful gadget. You will never have to worry about taking a pill daily. You will never know it is there.

Really? I don’t think so. Each month before the big moment happened I knew I had the foreign object inside of me. Terrible cramps appeared out of nowhere. My clothes suddenly became an issue with cleanliness. I began to hide safely  in my four walls waiting for the coast to clear.

One night I had the worst cramps ever. I thought I was going to die. My husband looked at me like I was nuts when he walked in the room and saw me doubled over like a beach ball. After his sudden shock wore off he rushed me to the ER.

This is where the big moment had happened. I wasn’t even aware that visitors had come un-announced. They just decided to have a party all on their own and the after effects of their play time produced a life within me.

The doctor quickly removed that little critter claiming it could result in a loss of life. This was the culprit of the bad cramps and the terrible pain on this eve. It was removed and then I saw my husband looking at me.

He had the biggest shit eating grin plastered from ear to ear. He had heard. Yep, the doc wasted no time in letting him in on the news of we were expecting. While he was thrilled I was not quite as happy.

Not that I didn’t want the stork to stop by our house, but because back then to have a baby after a certain age was not nearly as safe. I fretted and I worried. The bright glow that most women carry was hiding for me.

Except for the fact of being a worry wart, the nine months went well after we got past the night sickness. You know everyone says that we go through mountains and valleys. I had been on the up and suddenly I was headed down to the bottom.

Sugars were rising. They were spilling into my system and reaching the un born child. All of a sudden time was of the essence. The doctor set a date that I would have this child. He even added that if I didn’t deliver the cute bundle he and possibly I would die.

I went into the hospital at the scheduled date big as a barrel. The doctor tried to break my water but it was a stubborn process. With much effort he produced a positive effect and then told me I had five hours to show what I could do.

Time ticked by slowly as pain increased. I was told this was called false labor as the dilating segment was not happening. I went through hard labor, that was said to be non-productive  labor for four and one half hours.

The doctor came in and shook his head. I felt so guilty. Like I was disobeying a parent. I heard his words through my screams that they needed to schedule a C-section. Oh no I thought. I have heard about those. They cut you from top to bottom. Push harder Terry, don’t let them get the knife.

I concentrated on that spot on the ceiling and worked like hell to make this all come out in the end. Time still ticked and nothing. I heard the doctor yell at the nurse,” Let’s get her into the operating room stat. The sugars are spilling heavily. We are going to lose them.”

The senior nurse went to the end of my bed and started to un lock the wheels when out of no where she yelled,”Doctor come quick!” He went to her side immediately and looked in the direction she was and wouldn’t you know it? The baby was as scared of the knife as I was.

There was the darkest head of hair ever.  The doctor worked in triple time and within a few moments our son was born. I had two minutes to spare. I , we, all of us had made this come together like a good ball game, Home Run!