I was 12 years old.
I was in seventh grade and I had just started Jr. High. It was not an easy transition for me. I had become very shy and awkward. My elementary school friends were moving on to boys and parties and make up. I wasn't ready for any of those things. I was still playing Barbies and house with my little sister. I was still climbing trees and playing G.I. Joe in the woods with my brother.
I was crying that day. I don't really remember why. Could have been a number of things.
Could have been because I always had trouble opening my locker and was often late to a class, or ended up just going without my books.
Could have been because most of my friends from the previous year were cheerleaders or volleyball players and popular now, and I was just still me.
Could have been because the boys sometimes called me 2x4. It took me forever to figure out it was because I was still flat chested and was no where near puberty.
Whatever the reason, I remember walking into my afternoon math class, red-eyed and trying to hide from the world and hearing the teacher call my name.
"Jaime," she said as I made my way to the back of the room.
I walked over as she lifted the thin vase holding a single red rose from her desk and handed it to me.
"This is for you."
I smiled and took it to my desk. I opened the small card and read...
"Happy Birthday Jaime. I hope you have a wonderful day. Love, Aunt Debby."
The rest of the day, everyone asked about the flower and I received more birthday wishes than ever before. I don't remember what made that day so awful, but I remember what made it so great.
Today, I am 34 years old.