I just finished the audiobook for Wonder by R.J. Palacio this morning, and there was a quote that I wanted to talk about here. Just in case you don’t know what Wonder is about, I’ll give a little synopsis.
August has a facial deformity. Until now, he’s been homeschooled, but his parents decide that it is time for him to start real school, so they enroll him and the book follows his year in the fifth grade. Of course, starting school for the first time is hard enough, but when you look different, kids can be mean. Auggie goes through a lot of horrible things, but he makes some friends along the way.
The first day I showed up at school with the hearing aids, I thought kids would make a big deal about it. But no one did. Summer was glad I could hear better, and Jack said it made me look like an FBI agent or something. But that was it. Mr. Browne asked me about it in English class, but it wasn’t like, what the heck is that thing on your head?! It was more like, “If you ever need me to repeat something, Auggie, make sure you tell me, okay?
Now that I look back, I don’t know why I was so stressed about it all this time. Funny how sometimes you worry a lot about something and it turns out to be nothing. – Page 215
You may have noticed in my blog picture that I don’t have any hair. Now, I’m not comparing alopecia to a facial deformity, but I have first-hand experience with how mean kids (and adults) can be. I’ve had a lot of people stare at me and say things and point and ask rude questions. My confidence level is a lot higher than it used to be (which was really, really low). Most of you probably don’t know that up until about three years ago, I used to wear hats all the time (like even if I slept over at a friend’s house). Finally, FINALLY, I accepted that this is who I am, and if you didn’t like it, I didn’t need you in my life. I love not having hair for a lot of reasons (that I won’t go into unless you want me to). When I heard this quote in the book, it was like, “YES! I know exactly how that feels.” I mean, he even mentions his teacher didn’t ask what the thing on his head was! Haha. I look back on what I thought would happen before I took off my hat for good, and while it has been hard sometimes, overall people have been great. You really do worry way too much about something that is just nothing.