I stood up for my son today. It was hard, and embarrassing, but I still did it. And in the end it felt good and right and proper. It was the school’s open house night. And we saw in his classroom that there was a “calm down castle” which is just plain awesome. It’s a cardboard box that reminds me basically of the solitary confinement in The Bridge over the River Kwai or The Great Escape or something like that. But, it really was great, it had things to touch and focus on. And we’ll probably make it for ourselves.
So Levi was having a difficult time later on in the evening, it was well past bedtime and it was a long day with swim class and no real downtime. And a dad from his class turned to his son and said “looks like that boy over there needs a calm down castle.” Yes, okay, that’s right. The boy looked up and said, “who Levi?” “Yeah, Levi.”
And this was totally unfair. Yes, my son needed some way to calm down. But he has a difficult time sometimes in his class. He is an emotional kid. And we all work on it. We use meditation and talk about saying “yes” to “no.” And no one tries harder than Lev.
And the last thing he needed was some dad reinforcing the idea to his son that there’s something wrong with him. And so I told him. I told him it had been a long day and we just moved, and the last thing he needed was someone to point out that he needed a calm down castle to one of his classmates.
And he apologized, which I thought was pretty big of him.
I am all for pointing out the actions of others as teachable moments, ACTIONS. Not feelings, or dress, or appearance or anything else but actions. And only with strangers, unless it’s a class or something, and in such a way that no one hears that’s involved with the person. I overstepped this the last time I did it, thinking they group had passed us by, which was embarrassing, but … it was still an action, a kid not sharing. And I did it to point out, “when you are not taking turns all the time, this is what it feels like to be on the other side of that.” I got called out, but seriously, I wasn’t trying to be loud enough to overheard.
And when the kids notice someone having a difficult time I do my best to tell them we all have tough times. And I want everyone to cut my kids some slack. At least when it comes to being able to controlling emotions.
Am I wrong? I would love to “fix” my kid to make it easier on him, but I love him just the way he is. Being emotional is so hard. And it will only get worse as life goes on. He didn’t hear what the dad said, but what if that boy went into class tomorrow and told Levi what his dad said? What if he passed it on to his little friends?
I know it’s just that it reminds me of all my friends talking when I was little and no longer being able to come to my house because my dad drank too much at my party. And it may have been fair for them not to be allowed at my house, but their parents talked so much about my family in front of them. There were so many secrets, so many whispers, and so much talking about things that kids just don’t understand the true meaning of. And none of it was necessary. You do not ever need to gossip in front of your kids.
… I totally made it so they’ll gossip about what a blowhard I am, didn’t I? Made it even worse?
Can I just take my two little loves and live in the woods and never take them around people again?