Thursday, October 2, 2008

the battered heart

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.


amyandersonrn said...

This brought tears to my eyes! Sweet Brendan with such a kind heart, ever the thoughtful one. How dare those thugs treat him like that. It's so hard to see our little ones learn about the evil in the world. Why can't we all do unto others and teach that to our kids???

MN Hunderfunds said...

Isn't it such a comfort to know that Jesus has conquered Evil in this world? Sweet Brendan will face Evil throughout his life. Growing up means correctly naming and identifying this bullying as an Evil. But both he and his parents can take comfort in the power and love of Jesus. The love that strengthens Brendan through this ordeal can also touch the bullies, no matter how calloused or Evil their actions!

Lynette3boys said...

Thank goodness he has wonderful parents like you setting a good example and taking time to talk about the situation. It sounds like you guys really handled it well.

dogfather said...

Just let Andrew handle the thugs next time.

Kristin said...

oh laurie, we have those same battles with our oldest. it breaks my heart. you guys are doing a great job in teaching him about friends and picking the right ones. it's just too bad it starts so early.

Mom on the Run said...

Do you have any homeschooling coops in your area? Perhaps you could join one. Your son(s) would be able to make friends.

I steer clear of letting my younger kids play ball games with older kids. Accidents/bullying always happen. This is the reason that in elementary school each grade has a separate recess. You don't want a 1st grader playing with a 3rd grader...someone always gets hurt.

I enjoyed your blog.

Mrs.Naz@BecomingMe said...

It really hurts my heart to read and hear stories about bullies and meanies...and teaching our kids how to stand up to the nonsense in a Godly manner...not easy stuff.

Jessalyn said...

This brought tears to my eyes, as well! But, as always, the Sweeney's handled it with love and grace. :) I will pray for a good friend for Brendan.

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