As a toddler, I didn’t grow up with two parents like most kids do. I lost my father at the age of three years old. It is a really hard time for my mom to take care of me and my two other siblings by herself. Because of my father’s death, I wasn’t taught how to be tough. I’m sensitive because of this. I was raised by a very hardworking woman that taught me manners and other things like that, but I didn’t have a father figure to teach me to defend myself and to be a man.
When other kids hurt my feelings it hurts on the inside, but on the outside it doesn’t matter. I ignore it and mind my own business. I know I’m smart. I know I’m a good person. Some others don’t see me that way. They see me as a wimpy punk. I would like to show them that they are wrong, and I’m a good kid, and that’s all that matters. Unlike most kids, I enjoy school and reading and writing in my free time.
I also love to skateboard, and that is my number one stress reliever. I’m different from most kids because of my sensitivity. I don’t like fighting or conflict, and I choose to not have friends at school so that no one will talk to me. During P.E., I like to play by myself so no one bothers me. That way I can get my peace and quiet. I love to do things my way with no one giving me orders and telling me what to do and how to do it. Sometimes in math, I even find my own way to do problems. I like to use my intelligence I have inside.
Another thing that makes me different is my creativity. At this moment, my mom and I are working on getting a new house and opening a skate shop in the basement since I like to skate. Developing my own ideas and designs for things is another one of my favorite things to do. People have a negative idea about skateboarders, and I want to give the skateboarding community a better image.
A lot of people like to make fun of me because of how I look and dress, but I don’t get offended. I have holes in my shoes and pants. I have scabs and bruises on my body. Other people don’t understand why I’m proud of my scars. It’s because it proves how hard I work at what I love to do and that’s skating. It’s my favorite hobby, and maybe it’s not fun or cool to you, but it’s who I am! The loss of my father, my sensitivity, my skill and talent, skateboarding, my creativity, reading and writing, and doing things my way is what makes me, me!
Congratulations to Charles Price, the National Family Promise Flaunt essay winner, in collaboration with Don’t Hide It Flaunt It.