Patrick had a rough morning at drop off. Some kids in another class made it clear by pointing and making loud comments that they don't like Pats.
Pats reaction was to hover around them and wander close to them. I called him over because I knew what he was doing. I tried to tell him that in life people aren't always going to like you and aren't even going to try to get to know you. Those people are called time wasters and we want nothing to do with them. We only want to surround ourselves with good, kind people who love us and understand who we are and what we are about.
His response was that he wanted to know why they didn't like him.
I told him it didn't matter and that he needed to ignore them. To chase them was futile and useless.
I said these things knowing that they didn't make any sense and they were not really being heard because at that moment, his whole being was consumed with finding out why they didn't like him, and the desperate desire to win their friendship and show them he's a good guy.
I know this because I was him. I remember that manic desperation to win the hearts of your adversaries. At that moment it doesn't matter if you have a zillion friends. All you care about is why anyone would hate you or speak badly of you or try to hurt you.
You do stupid shit when you are in this mindset and you only come off appearing weak and pathetic which gives these fools more fodder to mock you with. The harder you try, the more screwy the whole thing gets.
Pats is a good kid with a huge heart and a kind gentle nature. He truly wants everyone to be harmonious and friends. It confuses him when he comes up against someone who is cruel or a pack of fools who don't feel the way he does.
Of course this whole 10 minute exchange between the boys and he and I ripped my heart right the hell out of my chest and I had to suppress my rage and my reaction to fly over to these boys eyes glowing, talons sharpened, shrieking like a harpy as I ripped out their eyes.
After fighting this very battle myself I finally realized that I can twist myself in a pretzel to try to get these fools to see what a good person I am and what a good fun friend I would be if they would only give me a chance or I can focus on the folks who already know that. It took me lots of heartache, lots of long talks with my parents, lots of tears shed and ultimately changing schools three times for me to figure out that I yam what I yam and not everyone is going to like that.
My parents knew that the whole ripping the eyes of my adversaries thing was not going to solve the problem so they (as hard as it was) didn't do it.
I will try to follow in their footsteps and not do it either but attempt to focus on Pats and building his self esteem and teaching him to focus on the good and shut out the negative.
I will however, not allow these morons to openly mock my son in front of me. If they do it again on Monday I'll be over there in a flash having a conversation with the boys and their parents. I'll try not to do the whole insane over protective shreiky mom thing but will remain calm but firm.
It's just so hard when it hits so close to home. It's so painful to watch my son go through even just a flicker of what I suffered through myself.
I can only comfort myself with the knowlage that I came out on the other side a strong, self confident, self assured, kind, gentle woman.
I also need to remind myself that this was one single moment and perhaps an isolated incident.
Pats did wander off with his best pal and seemed okay but he and I will discuss it after school again.
As I was gathering my thoughts and trying to get my heart to beat right and shake that moment off I turned to see one of my favorite gals in Pats class leaning on the wall. She and I are pals. Every morning she comes over to me to wait for her teacher to arrive.
I get the feeling her mom might not be the very best or most attentive mom so I've sort of attempted to take her under my wing and let her know that she's super cool, even if it's just for 5 mintues each morning. She had told me she was going to get beads put in her hair last night so when I saw her I made a big fuss about how beautiful she looked and how her hair was so pretty.
She started to cry which was NOT the reaction I was aiming for. I squatted down and asked what was wrong and she said "Nobody likes me. I don't have any friends."
My first thought was that they must have pumped some weird anti self esteem vapors into the gym that morning. My next thought was that I'd just finished reading an article about how important same sex adults who are not parents are in the growth and developement of a child and how one comment, good or bad has the ability to shape a child at this age for the rest of their lives.
I squatted down and told her "Listen to me. You are a beautiful rock star. You are phenomial and amazing. You are strong and kind. You are cooler than Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus. Anyone who doesn't see that is a fool and you don't need to waste time with them. Promise me you won't ever forget that."
She threw her arms around me and gave me the tighest hug. We wiped away her tears and I walked her over to where her class was.
I'm flattered she's attached herself to me and will contiune to sing her praises as I will to Patrick and Brian and any other kid who comes my way who needs a little extra love.
I'll tell ya, I keep thinking these kids have it easy but I don't think I would want to turn back time and be little again. It's not that easy.
Email from Dad, Part 8: New Year's - On Wed, Dec 29, 2010 at 8:48 PM, Dad wrote: *Hi Sheryl,it's google time.Just read your latest googles.Having me there on Feb.1st is a great idea,I'm looki...
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