This is my middle child. He is 10. He's very talented (as you can see) at making pancakes. He can do it all by himself; beginning to end. He is passionate about his music and electronic technology in general. He's probably one of the youngest kids in his class because his birthday is in October which falls well before the cut off; which is December 31st. He is not as mature as the rest of his class and we thought of holding him back a year, but the fact that he is not behind academically (even ahead in some areas) we felt it best to just let him catch up. It has been really tough. This year especially! He is in Grade 5 this year and the kids are really getting to the age where they can be so mean. My heart aches every time he asks "why don't the kids like me?" or "what did I do to make them hate me?" I try to explain that it's them and not HIM but.....that's hard for a 10 year old to understand.
Yesterday he quit gymnastics. He had been teased and taunted since day one but always went back. Last night was the 'straw that broke the camel's back', and he doesn't want to go back anymore. Some of the kids were saying things like "you don't belong here" "why are you even here?" When he came home and told this to me; he was trying so hard not to cry. "Some of those kids don't even know me!" he says. "I thought they were my friends" , he said about the others. I was so mad. Really angry. Then I got sad. I stayed on the computer (after the kids went to bed)clicking away,keeping my focus away from my thoughts. I could feel the tears welling up inside. I didn't want to let them out. My little boy was hurting and I couldn't fix it.I finally went to bed but had a very hard time sleeping. I decided I was going to talk to the kids at gymnastics and let them know why their gym mate would not be returning. I was going over things in my head that I wanted to say. I wanted them all to feel very ashamed that they had made another person feel so bad about themselves. I finally had to just breathe and try not to think so I could get to sleep. Sleep came but then I was up early this morning. The pain in my chest was still there. I tried to make the morning as smooth as possible for my little boy who was no doubt wondering how things were going to go down at school.
After the kids left for school I sat down to blog. I had my fb page open and had to stop blogging to answer all the messages that were coming in about the incident the night before. I got a few phone calls and everyone expressed how sorry they were and were all really supportive. I truly appreciated that but I have to admit, it brought up all those tears again. I find it so hard to deal with the fact that I can't fix this for him.
I was so mad at those kids, and still am, but my anger has softened and given way to sadness and compassion. Bullying , in any form, usually stems from hurt. I know they are just little kids who are trying to figure things out too. I'm ashamed to admit it but, I was a bully at times too. I was hurting and that is how I coped, by hurting others. I had no control over my hurt so I tired to take control where I could find it. It's not right. It never has been. We need to teach our kids other ways of coping. That's the only way it will stop. That's is WHY I'm going to talk to those kids next week. If I can get through to at least one of them then I guess I will have done some good. In the mean time I will continue to love my boy and give him the praise that he deserves for being a sensitive, loving, talented and funny little man!