During the privilege walk I was able to connect with some of my classmates. Although we didn’t really speak about what we had just experienced, we were looking at one another with a different kind of understanding and respect for one another. I could relate to a lot of what my peers had experienced and I began to reflect on my own life. We didn’t expect to be in the back of the walk because we were all happy, in university and working to achieve goals. So why were we “less” privileged? Why did the class pity us?
It’s 7am and the sun begins to peak through my curtains. My dad (who is super annoyingly awake) turns on my light and begins to say “C’MON LET’S GO GET UP” in the same irritating tone he uses every day. As I try to open my eyes my dad says “Mom’s at work and I’m about to leave. I didn’t wake Cam up yet, have a good day at school. Love you! Make sure you don’t fall asleep because we can’t wake you up” “Okay, I love you dad. See you after work”. When I finally build up all the strength and energy in my body, I head to the bathroom and turn on my shower playlist. I allow myself exactly 2 songs and rush my shower. After burning in the shower I hope I get all of the conditioner out of my hair and wake up Cameron. “Dad’s at work, WE ARE GOING TO BE LATE HURRY”. I watch panic consume Cameron as he tries to wake up in a rush. (I’m lying, we have plenty of time I just think it’s funny when he thinks we are late) As he runs into the shower, I lay out his outfit for the day and make a very nutritious meal; Fruit Loops and a wagon wheel. Soon it is 7:45 and I get the both of us ready for the long 2 block trek to school. As we would walk we would often talk about what our plans were after school. I would clean up my breakfast mess and sweep and Cameron would clean his room and tidy the living room. After school I would find the little brat on the playground, and we would start walking. Every day it was a race to finish chores so our parents were able to come home and relax. Sometimes Cameron and I would make supper to give our parents a break.
My parents worked hard to give us the opportunity to play sports and get involved with anything our hearts desired. We knew once it was the time to register for our seasons that we would have to sacrifice the other treats we received in our lives. As I got older my fees became more expensive as I began to play at a high level. Whenever a new fee was introduced I would pay it before my parents would see it. I worked and put money aside to pay for my sports and help with my brother’s. To this day, they don’t know I have paid for both my brother and I. I enjoy hearing them talk about how “I can’t believe there was only the initial registering fee! No equipment rental or tournament fees!” because I know that is one less thing they would have to worry about.
I didn’t think taking care of my brother every day or contributing to the bills they paid was something that would set me apart from my classmates. I don’t think that these instances or extra responsibilities gave me a disadvantage. I don’t think I am any less privileged than my classmates but I do realize that my childhood contributes to where I fall on the spectrum. I think my responsibilities at home made me mature faster, and understand a little piece of how the world works.