I’m going to really unleash my heart in this blog post. This won’t be inspirational – nor will it be anything that will make you want to lose weight, run, ride or do anything fun. It’s not a fun subject. As a matter of fact, it sucks.
So – not long ago, a kid was bullied and he ended up taking his own life. I feel bad for the kid, I feel bad for his family, I feel bad for everybody involved. It totally sucks. Kids should be able to live without bullying and/or intimidation. I will NEVER say anything to contradict that – but then where do we ‘draw the line’? I don’t know.
As the weeks have gone on, the Today show and other news media have latched onto this story because it grabs your heart. It makes you think – but if you are like me, you have a lot of other crap going on in your life and you can’t really even really do much past saying a quick prayer for the family as they go through this unbelievably hard time. Then all of the sudden, you get kind of a sucker punch in the pills and all of this stuff starts going through your head at 200 mph.
This morning, Max woke up and didn’t want to go to school. Yeah… Pre-K – revolting. He often doesn’t want to go, but today was different. It was intermingled with being tired, but at the same time, he was more passionate about it. He was VERY upset. Most of all – he kept saying “I don’t want to go outside”. That doesn’t make sense. The little guy loves running and playing. I didn’t think much of it, but it did catch me off guard. At school, he was quick to tell a teacher. Another oddity.
When I picked him up after school – he again said he didn’t want to go outside. I asked why. He started with “Everybody crowds me too much.” I didn’t understand that so I asked more questions. He is a popular kid, but the playground is big enough – there isn’t a space issue. He said “they all follow me around and crowd me”. I was patient with my questioning and asked little questions and chipped away at his little armor. All of the sudden, he let it fly. He told me a little guy in his class chases him around, punches and kicks him. He was passionate in his talk and didn’t sound like there was any form of fiction in this. I was concerned. I told Sarah about it – and told her I would talk to the school tomorrow.
I did manage go get a quiet moment when I could call the school and I spoke to the Director. She understood and said they had another similar call about the same little guy and they would do various – appropriate – things to help. I felt good about it, but didn’t realize how deeply affected Max is. At bedtime, he got all worked up. He told me over and over he didn’t want to go outside again. He cried and asked me to help him pray. I told him that tomorrow we would meet with the Director and we would work out a good plan to help him get through this. I couldn’t believe that I was laying there with a five year old boy who is being ‘bullied’. My five year old boy. My son is being bullied… WTF?
It’s not a fun seat to be in right now. One person who heard about this suggested to tell him to go beat him up. Yeah – that’s one way to do it and it is probably effective, but what happens next time. I’m not going to tell him “This will go down on your permanent record” or any such thing, but what happens in 3rd grade when he opens up a can of whoop-arse on another kid and gets in trouble? I have a hard time thinking that violence is REALLY the right answer. I mean, I beat the crap out of a kid at the bus stop in 8th grade. I still regret it. I feel bad for what I did to that kid, humiliating him in front of all his friends. He never got in my way again, but I lost other friends. If Max fights it out – will he be the next bully? Will I be on the other side of the table? When I spoke to the director – I felt her course of action was very good, but is it enough? How can I leave my son with people he very much does not want to be with? Holy crap – I just wrote that whole paragraph and have NO recollection what I said. I want to talk to my Grandma right now. She always knew what to tell me.
Tonight – I can only turn this over to God and ask for guidance. I honestly believe we have Max in the best Pre-K in the state. I have full faith and trust in the owners and staff. I don’t know that this little guy is a bad kid, maybe just going through a phase – or maybe he needs some help – but this is something we have to work through. As I watched the news – I thought “Wow, this is what we have to look forward to!” Little did I know it would be so soon.