Friday, May 02, 2008

it's hard to be a mom sometimes

blake punched one of his teammates at last nights game.

a little backstory first. this particular kid pesters blake (and the rest of the team) consistantly. when i say pester, i mean that he slaps blake in the face, slaps him upside the head, calls him a "bitch," and i think he has pushed him (or maybe he pushed another kid). blake has asked him repeatedly to stop. boyfriend has told this kid on 3 seperate occassions that he can recall, not to touch blake. so last night, blake finally had enough. this kid lightly slapped blake in the face and blake did nothing. but apparently he came back and did it again, and blake reacted. he punched him in the stomach.

if you're wondering if blake's in trouble or not, he's not. we had talked to him about this situation prior. we knew that eventually something like this was going to happen. it's so hard, because it's such a fine line when teaching your child the difference between being man enough to walk away, and standing up for yourself (and knowing when to do either). but we pretty much told him that he has given this kid enough warnings. he's told him plenty of times that he doesn't like being touched in the face, not to call him names, etc. he knew he wouldn't be in trouble for doing this. and he's not.

but here's where the mom in me just aches for my son. he said that when he first hit the kid, he felt so bad. he said he felt bad for himself. like he shouldn't have done it, but that he totally reacted and that's what happened (he said that he had intended to just shove him, but that he hit him instead). then after a little bit, he said he felt justified in doing it. that the kid deserved it. and he felt okay with his actions. but then a little more time passed. and he was really upset. he didn't like the way it felt to hurt someone physically. he knows why he did it, but it didn't make him feel good inside. he especially didn't like thinking that his other teammates would think he was a bully, or be scared of him, or think he's a bad person.

so we talked last night. and we talked some more this morning. and it's just so hard. and i told him that. i told him that it's hard to know what to do in situations, but this is how we learn. now you know what it's like to be pushed to a point where you've simply had enough and you lash out. you know what it's like to feel bad for your actions. and you're learning what it's like to have other people "judge" you for the things you do (ie, his teammates). it's all part of growing up and learning. i told him that even i still learn, and that i shouldn't have yelled at the kids older brother (another story for another time). that i absolutely could have talked to the brother and said what i said, but i should have done it differently. i should have said it in a different tone and not yelled and that i owe that kid an apology for the WAY i said things- not what i said, cause i meant what i said, but HOW i said it.

i just ache for him. i don't want blake to only remember how badly he feels for hurting this kid and continue to get walked all over by other kids. i still want him to defend himself and stand up for himself and not allow himself to get pushed around. i don't know- it's a learning experience for all of us... it's just really hard.

10 comments:

Meg said...

I want to congratulate you because Blake sounds very mature for his age. You've talked the whole thing through and he knows the repercussions and I don't think you have to worry about him beating people up full-time. I'm sure it's hard, but it sounds like you have an amazing little guy there.

jennster said...

thanks meg. i don't worry about him randomly beating kids up now for no reason- you know? i just want him to be able to find that balance that works for him... knowing that sometimes it's okay to put an end to a situation that has gone on too long, and you don't have to feel bad about it. but that's hard- cause then maybe he'd be heartless. i don't know- it's lifes lessons for ALL of us...

Denise said...

God that ones hard, I remember my Dad telling me "Don't you ever throw the first punch, but, don't back down either if someone hits you first, you lay'em out!"

Jenna said...

Wow. I think you've done a great job raising your son. And given your position, I wouldn't have punished him either. I think life is all about learning, so with him having all of these after-emotions and if it does happen again, it might have a different outcome. A good one that you aren't even expecting...

Alison said...

Where are the other kid's parents when he's pushing his teammates around? Where is the coach? If any of those people had been doing their job, Blake wouldn't have had to take matters into his own hands. BUT, I think Blake did the absolute right thing after giving the kid numerous warnings/chances, and you did the right thing by telling him it's okay to protect himself. He is such a little gentleman and you've done such a great job with him. :)

Phoenix said...

I truly think you have the coolest kid in the world. He's sweet and sensitive and knows that sometimes you have to stick up for yourself. The fact that he feels bad about it is what's so cool. Not that he feels bad, but that wish that it could have happened better.

He's a keeper Jennster. You done awesome.

Kevin Charnas said...

Blake is a badass. And so are you. Not because he clobbered some little shithead, but because you guys talked about this and how bad he feels about it...Poor champ...

I can still remember dragging Carl Gaul all over the playground by his hair...and punching him in the face while I was doing it. I wish I felt bad about it. Truly. But, I didn't. And I still don't.

That asshole shouldn't have told on me during choir practice.

RWA said...

What? Blake hit another kid?!?!?!?

He must have learned that from you.

Just kidding.

I'm sure he'll get through this. He did the right thing, defending himself. That other kid wasn't going to stop; I bet he doesn't hit Blake anymore.

Angelika said...

Wow. Blake is an awesome kid 1) for putting up with that for so long AFTER he'd told the kid to stop (I don't like people touching my face either.) and 2) For actually feeling bad about it. Even for a second.

I used to worry about Evan being walked all over because he was so sensitive, but NOW I have to tell him to just ignore the "retarded" (his favorite word) kids who get on his nerves. Especially in school, on the bus & at the playground. (My landlord's son plays there. I don't want no trouble, KWIM?)

It's a fine line between justifiably defending yourself and just "lashing out" because you can.

I don't think you have to worry about Blake, though. :-)

Loren said...

You've done a good job with Blake! I hope that kid finally leaves him alone; sometimes kids need to fight back in order to NOT become the constant kid being bullied!