Thursday, February 18, 2010

The bully

Every classroom in every school has them. They're the kid who pushes to the front of the line, kicks kids at recess instead of the ball & is generally mean-spirited. Jack's classroom has one, and even though he seems to genuinely like Jack, he tends to hit him a lot.

Today I found myself parked next to the bully's mom at pick-up. This woman has never been anything but nice to me, always smiling and waving when we meet. I, of course, smile and wave back... but it's my tv smile. The one my face instantly snaps to when I know I need to fake it. That's not to say every smile on television was a fake one for me, but all anchors have a "face" they tuck away for the days when being a "personality" doesn't fit your mood. I must say, it's a shame acting didn't work out for me, because I'm pretty damn good at it.

As I waved & smiled at this kid's mom I found myself issuing little threats under my breath. Keep your crazy-ass kid away from mine. Or lay one more finger on jack.... I'm sure she's losing sleep over the very thought of being at odds with me. ha! But my point is more my surprise at how strong I would be if push ever came to shove. I was bullied in 5th grade & never resolved the situation. Instead we moved onto middle school & the whole thing kinda diluted in the mix of all the new kids. I'm usually the one to talk things out & resolve them calmly, but for some reason, the thought of any kid bullying mine makes me want to take on their parents! The picked-on gradeschooler inside me is dying to have that victory.

In reality, I know my kid is much better equipped to handle the situation than I am. It's a guy thing. Someone pushes you, you push back. Maybe you'll be friends, maybe you won't. End of story.

Just one more example of how part of parenting is sitting back and letting your kid figure it out for themselves. If it's this hard at age 4, I can only imagine how hard it will be when the stakes are higher. God help us all when he has his first heartbreak.

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