An Understanding

He has the innocence of a 6-year-old.

He has the need, the want to please everyone around him.

He has an immature understanding of how the world socially operates.

He got off the bus yesterday and slumped up to the house.

He must have had a bad day at school, his card must have been turned.

How was your day at school?

Fine.  Smiley face.

No smile, no affect.  Slumped into the house dropping all of his belongings in his path.

Buddy, hang up your backpack and put your hat away.


Buddy, what’s wrong?  Did something happen at school, on the bus??


He got his space.  We let him be so that he could calm down.  Something was wrong but we didn’t want to push him to the brink just to find out.

Kids were making fun of me on the bus.  They said Eli wasn’t a real name.

He shared this with us after a bit.

Eli is a real name sweetie.  It’s your name.  Ignore the kids telling you that.  They’re simply trying to get you upset.

Well, I don’t want to talk about it.

Something else is wrong.  This is where I struggle as a mom.  I want him to tell me, need him to tell me what’s wrong so that I can fix it.  I’m his mom, that’s what mom’s do.  We fix the boo-boo, we dry the tears, we kiss the forehead, we make it all better.

I asked again before bed.  He was still very agitated as his day wound down.

The boy I don’t like sat with me on the bus.

Didn’t you sit with L on the bus?

Yes, but he slipped into the seat next to me when I was waving goodbye to L.

What happened?

He told me he’d have a 5th grader beat me up if I didn’t give him a massage.

I’d be lying if I said my heart didn’t start racing.  The images going through my head were horrendous.

Buddy, what did you do?

I massaged his hand because he said if I didn’t the 5th grader would beat me up.

Are you sure you massaged just his hand?  Did he ask you anything else?  It’s really ok to tell mommy.  You’re not in trouble.

NO, MOMMY.  Just his hand.  And it’s ok if he sits with me.  I like him now.

Buddy, you don’t have to like someone who treats you like that and threatens to have someone hurt you.  You shouldn’t like someone who treats you like that.

Ok, mom.  Mom??  Can I get picked up from school everyday?  I don’t want to ride the bus home anymore.

No, you can’t get picked up everyday.  But, mommy will talk to your teacher and tell her what you told me.  She’ll help you to fix it so that you feel better about riding the bus home.

Ok mom.  I love you.

I love you too buddy.

The email went out to his teacher this morning with a response that she was very concerned about this.  She was planning to talk to the assistant principal and talk to the boy.

Today Eli ran up the driveway after getting off the bus.  He was grinning and yelled that he got a smiley face.  He was excited to be home and in a great mood.

When questioned about the bus he shared that the boy sat with him after L got off the bus.  Today he was nice and they just talked.

I’m thankful for the school policies against bullying.  I’m hopeful that my sweet boy was only exposed to the acts that he shared with me.

It’s so very hard to let your children out of your sight.  It becomes even harder when they’re dealing with something that makes their day so miserable and threatens to remove that innocence that we as parents fight to keep in tact for as long as humanly possible.


About Brotherly Love

I am a mom, partner, teacher and a lover of life. I have two fabulous boys who define my life as I know it. One of my children has been diagnosed with a sensory processing disorder, Asperger's and anxiety disorder. I blog as much about him as I do about my life and the lives of my immediate family.
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8 Responses to An Understanding

  1. Jaimee says:

    oh ack! I’m so glad this all smoothed out!!

  2. A hand massage? Really? Now that child sounds rather odd…

    So glad the teacher/school stepped up. And Eli is an awesome (!) name!

  3. akbutler says:

    I’m glad the school stepped up too. I can only imagine the thoughts going through your head. ugh.

  4. I have been so pleased that teachers are now doing more than turning a blind eye to bullies. It not only helps the targeted child, it can make a difference in the bully’s future, too.

    Now if we could translate that to adults…!

    I remember the days when smiley faces were sometimes scarce.
    Hugs to Eli!

  5. Mrs.Mayhem says:

    It sounds like you handled the bullying well. I’m glad that Eli is happier riding the bus.

    Hearing about bullying makes me sick to my stomach. I just can’t believe how cruel kids can be sometimes. Luckily, this situation didn’t escalate.

  6. Kate says:

    Oh, I wish I had eyes on my babies all the time, all the time. But sooner or later they have to deal with things, and the best we can do is give them tools and stand up for (and with) them when bullies start.

  7. Pingback: Support | Brotherly Love

  8. Debbi Henry says:

    OMG! I missed this post. I am speechless…A massage?…
    That is scary…
    Hopefully the zero tolerance to bullying will make sure this doesn’t happen again and if the boy keeps picking on him then he should be kicked off the bus.

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