I know why I love the newborn and baby stage the very best.
I don't have to let go and I can protect at every turn.
Tonight we watched our older boys play a pickup game of football at a park with a group of
thugs other boys of similar ages. We were all there for Rufus's soccer game and the older boys regularly play around at the park until the game is over.
After struggling to be included in the football game, the boys were just happy to be able to play.
Kenyon was watching from afar, and thank goodness.
I didn't even know he ran off until another mom came over to me and asked, "Is everything O.K. over there?"
I had no idea what was going on. I saw Kenyon talking to the entire group of about ten boys and then walk swiftly back to our blanket on the sidelines.
It turned out that Kenyon saw that a play had finished and then one boy started yelling at Hunter and pushed him hard twice. Kenyon simply gave them all a general speech about being kind and not pushing each other, not singling any one boy out.
The mom who asked me what was up happened to be the mom of the boy who pushed our son. She went over to see what happened and
the demon her son proceeded to lie to her about what happened.
Long story short - she believed him over my husband who saw it (and had no reason to lie).
Regardless, Hunter endured and didn't quit. He went back to the game and played with a happy heart.
Before bed tonight, we had a long talk with Hunter, who seems to put any boy, particularly the ones who don't give him the time of day, up on a pedestal. We talked to him about not letting other kids push him around or yell at him when he doesn't catch the ball (which was the real story).
We encouraged him to be strong and be smart about who he picks as friends.
That is the only part of homeschooling that I really struggle with - and particularly with our eldest. There are so many great things about homeschooling that are right for our boys this year.
But, he is desperate for a good, close friend that he can be silly with and have a lot in common with. I think that's why he will follow any kid right off a cliff and get pushed around without fighting back.
At the same time, I refuse to put him in the middle of a group of these bullies who think they can run over anything in their path (including their own parents).
I just want the opportunity for him to meet and build consistent relationships with the right kids - kids that will treat him as well as he treats others. He's not perfect, but never in a million years would he have treated any boy like he was treated today.
Life is hard enough without being knocked around when your only seven.
I don't think that's too much to ask.