Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Just Call Me Napoleon

I'm starting to think that I might have had a Napolean complex when I was younger. I was definitely always smaller than everyone else. 4'11" in eight grade can always do the trick. Of course, I shot up maybe four inches when I got to high school, but that really didn't make much of a difference. Plus, that's neither here nor there.

I'm told stories all of the time that I liked to boss people around, which is weird because I was also a pretty shy kid. Maybe I was just shy when it came to certain people but again, I digress. I'm told that my Sunday School teachers used to call me Miss Katie because I liked to boss everyone around in the class and don't even get me started on when Lauren Brown and I were ever in the same class in kindergarten. We ruled the roost.

I always wanted to be the center of attention, making up plays with my sister and singing songs like "Louisana Saturday Night" for anyone and everyone while doing my little dance. I still get a little nervous feeling being in front of the crowd for the first time but I think it's more of an adrenaline rush than nerves.

Anyway, I was always the boss. In playtime at school, I made sure that everyone knew what their roles were in the imaginary games we played. I bossed the boys and they listened. Man, I was good. I was always the teacher, the captain, the train conductor, the song leader, the queen of the mountain.

When my mom taught at Siwell, I attended the elementary school across the street. Everyday, along with other teacher's kids, including my best friend LB (Lauren Brown, whom I still call Lauren Brown even though she's married and has a new last name), would be escorted across the street by our favorite Siwell custodian, Thomas Taylor.

Very often, when I would reach my mom's room there would be about 15 or 20 minutes of class time left. Usually, Lauren was with me or I was with Lauren in her mom's room, but we immediately assumed our jobs as nametakers and disciplinarians. That's right, imagine an eight-year-old telling a ninth-grader to "Sit down and be quiet or his name would go on the board". And don't make me threaten the evil check mark. Boy, oh boy! That's trouble. Yes, people, I put the fear of God into some 14-year-olds...or maybe I just made them chuckle a little.

Anyway, as time went on I found myself being a leader in everything, although I was much happier just being a follower and taking orders. Some Napolean I was. I was captain of the cheerleading squad in eighth grade and then eventually as a senior in high school. I was one of three eighth graders to do the announcements in middle school as part of my Student Council Secretarial duties. I was the teachers' pet but yet I could also often be the first one to start an argument with a teacher who thought she/he knew it all or could say what every she/he wanted to certain students.

And although many bigger kids (boys, mostly) liked to pick on me because I was little, I never wasted an opportunity to give it right back to them. Yes, I cried. But eventually, they paid. I never got into a fight because truthfully, I would have gotten my hiney kicked. I learned to use my words. Cold as ice as they say.

Maybe I was a Napolean, or maybe I was just a kid who new when to stand up for herself and would rather do the bossing around instead of be bossed around. However, I always had respect for others, especially the grown-ups, I was never mean-hearted (ok so maybe that one time in the caf when that boy was mean to me, but he deserved it) and had good intentions. I apologized when necessary and showed compassion every chance I got. I spoke (and still do speak) the truth in love and hopefully people respect me for that.

So call me Napoleon. Whether or not, he was a good or bad guy, or was overcompensating for his lack of height, whatever. He had a passion. I don't think that's such a bad thing.

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