My friend AJ posted a heartbreaking story on his Facebook page earlier today; a painful glimpse into this man’s life, and the apparent love and support he has for his little daughter Kaylee.
Having known AJ for close to 15 years, I have watched him grow from mid-20’s single guy with successful radio career, to married man with beautiful wife and two sweet and lovely daughters, and a very successful radio career. I am both proud and impressed by the accomplishments he has made over the years, and even though we don’t see each other as often as we used to (back when I was his traffic reporter) it still hurts me when he experiences heartbreak.
Here is his earlier post:
I’ve learned that there is something worse than having your heart broken and it’s seeing your kid heartbroken. Kaylee left the house all excited this morning because for the 1st time ever we packed her favorite meal…a dish she’s always love so much that we call it “Kaylee Pasta” in her school lunch. She couldn’t wait to eat it at school and show it to her friends. She came home from school totally defeated…with a container full of “Kaylee pasta.” She told us another kid said it “looked gross” and it’s “stupid that she calls it Kaylee pasta.” I wish I could have been in her head telling her that the other kids opinion meant NOTHING and that she should laugh if off and there was no reason that she should be so embarrassed that she put her food away and went hungry. When you first have kids you know the world isn’t always going to treat them well..I guess I just wish it would wait awhile before it gets cruel. I guess we all wish our kids could grow up in a world that’s always kind and fair but we just have to remind ourselves that we have found a way to be happy in a world that isn’t and they will to.
I will admit one reason why AJ’s story touches me is that, being a foodie, I know the excitement Kaylee was feeling at the beginning of her day; also the fact that I have a long memory and can remember times in my life where bullies at school made things miserable for me.
But more so, I have had the experience of people making comments about what I am eating, and as hard as you try to not let it harsh your mellow, remarks about what you’re eating can still sting.
The child who criticized Kaylee’s lunch more than likely comes from a family where that sort of behavior is acceptable; I know this because I have witnessed grown adults behaving like food snobs and/or fussy, opinionated jerks at various times in my life. I once said to a co-worker who blatantly said my food stank, “Well, then, I guess your manners have some competition!”
Fortunately Kaylee comes from a very loving, supportive family who will see her through this emotional setback. The outpouring of support and positivity in response to AJ’s post is phenomenal and heartwarming.
I have always been proud of AJ and all his accomplishments; I am even more proud of him now.