So this is going to be one of those more serious blog posts, where I stand up on my computer desk and shout out some praise for the boy.
(I heard your collective sighs. The sighs that say, “Oh, brother. It’s another mama blogger, bragging about her child.”)
(Yes. You’re right. It is that.)
(And plus? I’m not always great at all the serious writing, because I yammer on and on about utter nonsense most of the time.)
(Maybe you’d better buckle your seatbelts.)
On Friday night, the boy and I had an at-home date together. We put Thing 2 to bed, and Hubs was working late, so the two sickies had a date. We coughed together. We laughed together. We talked. We ate popcorn and chocolate pie for dinner, and the boy rose up and called me blessed, as he proclaimed that to be one fine meal. We even watched a movie together.
(And honestly? I think Hubs needs to take a lesson from the boy there, because YES! Chocolate pie and popcorn ARE INDEED a fine dinner. We don’t always need meat and potatoes and to dirty up our kitchens with all the cooking.)
In the middle of hearing all about the firearms the boy hopes to own someday, and the most poisonous spiders in the world, and how many pounds of flesh a Great White can bite off in one munch, he told me a story about something that had happened at school QUITE SOME TIME AGO. I think it speaks volumes about the man my twelve-year-old is going to become.
The boy, you see, has befriended a boy who has been given some struggles and issues that are going to make life much harder for him than for other kids. I will ashamedly admit that I was surprised when the boy announced his friendship with this other child, because it isn’t the typical friendship that the boy makes. The boy is well-aware that this other fellow has it a bit rougher in life, and he has taken him under his wing. I guess, as parents, we all want our children to befriend other kids who have similar likes and all, and we encourage those friendships to bloom.
But what about the children who are different?
I imagine that their mamas hold in their hearts the very same dreams of THEIR SONS making friends, too.
And so this friendship has developed between the boy and his new buddy. I’ve met his mother; we’ve sat together while our sons hung out, and she told me that they were new here in Small Town, and it was her deepest desire to see her son accepted for who he is and befriended.
Because even though her son will face issues that mine won’t, her heart is the same as mine. We both ache for our boys to have the very best lives possible, and the very best friendships. She is a very good mother.
On Friday night, the boy told me that a group of three boys he’d never met before were picking on this other boy in the hallway at school a while back. The boy said, “Mom, I overheard them say some mean things out loud. They wanted to be heard. They wanted X to hear them.” I asked the boy what he had done, and he said, “I didn’t do anything then. The bell rang, and X ran to his class, and I slipped in the door to my class.”
The boy went on to tell me that after school that afternoon, when they were all leaving the building, he was walking with this other fellow. And he said, “Mom, those three boys who had talked mean in the hallway came up to X. X had his backpack on, and before any of us realized what was happening, they unzipped his backpack in one huge swoop, and then they smacked the top of the backpack and made all of his stuff fall out onto the sidewalk. I’ve never felt so much anger in my life at someone, and I was ready to punch them, but they ran. They ran and they ran, and they were gone.”
I asked the boy, “So then what happened?”
He said, “I bent down and started helping X pick up his things from the sidewalk. I helped him pick up his books and his pencils, and we caught all of his papers that were starting to blow. Ciara was there, Mom, and she helped us, too. Ciara and I were the only two that helped X.”
I wanted to bawl. I wanted to bawl for a boy who has every right to be in that school as any other child, and who had to deal with getting everything knocked out of his backpack. I wanted to bawl for families who manage to raise sons who pick on others.
This made me think of all the times I tell the boy, over and over and OV-AH to pick up his bathroom… to get his chores done quickly… to stop leaving his socks all over the house… to please put the milk back in the refrigerator when he make a glass of chocolate milk… and I realized that these are JUST SMALL THINGS in life. As frustrated as I get to find toothpaste slopped all over his bathroom sink, day in and day out, my boy’s heart is on the right track to becoming a man of honor.
He’s finding the good in people that most of us overlook. He’s offering friendship to a boy who is going to struggle in life finding it. He’s not afraid to jump in and help out, when all the other kids are looking on… when they’re looking on and very quietly laughing.
I don’t care what my son’s grade-point-average is. I don’t care how many academic awards he gets in life. I don’t care whether he can throw a football in a perfect spiral or not. I don’t care how far he can smack a golf ball. What I care about is that he’s the hands and feet of Jesus, right here on earth. I’ve always expected him to have friends who are very similar to… well… himself. And here the boy has gone out and added an extra friend to his little wolf pack of buddies. The boy has gotten the other boys in his gang to accept this fellow, for who he is.
And he’s stuck beside this guy when he needed to be stuck beside. Our boy stood up tall enough to bend down low and help out, when help was needed.
If that isn’t something for a mama to brag about, I don’t know what is.
Well done, Boy. Your mama and daddy are flat-out PROUD.
When I told Hubs about this story later, when we were alone, Hubs’ eyes shone with love for our boy, just like mine did. And then he said, “I hope our kid smacks the snot out of those other three boys.” That may come. What we did was talk to the boy on Saturday morning about how this is bullying, and how this is something that you can tell a school counselor… something that you should tell a school counselor… something that the boy’s new friend shouldn’t have to go through at school. Our boy is armed with enough courage to stand up for others, and he understands the difference now between tattling and reporting something that needs to end.
We’re overly proud of him.
Y’all have a happy Monday night.