I have long likened phone calls from the school and notes home to be like little grenades that get lobbed at you when you least expect them—usually when you’re coasting along in a good mood. Today was a prime example of that. Maybe the primest.
I had a lovely afternoon. Then Jack got off his bus and I found his recorder in his backpack. I’d never heard him play, so I asked if he knew any songs. He took the recorder and played an excellent, recognizable rendition of Old MacDonald.
I was happy, Jack was happy, we had a long Friday afternoon ahead of us to play in the yard and be happy people.
Then Quinn’s bus pulled up. Quinn got off, along with several neighborhood kids, including Jack’s friend E. E told me about a fifth grader at recess who was mean to Jack. E was outraged about the whole situation. I am so grateful for her. Jack wants to marry her. *I* want him to marry her. I filed this information about the fifth grader away so I could talk to Jack about it later. I didn’t yet realize all the other things I was going to have to add to that list.
Just as we walked into the house, the phone rang. It was the school counselor. Right at the end of the day Jack had gotten in trouble because another kid told him to do something, which he did, and which is against the rules. Later, when we were talking about it, I told Jack that sometimes kids tell other kids to do things to get them in trouble because they’re being mean. Tears welled up in Jack’s eyes and he said, “I didn’t know they were being mean.”
Then I opened Jack’s communication log and there was a note from one of his teachers about something Jack had done.
Then I checked my email and there was an email from one of his teachers about something that Jack was suspected of doing.
Four grenades, all in a row. Ouch. They knocked me down and they knocked me down hard. I’m sure it super sucked for Jack too. I’ve been waiting for bullying, subtle or otherwise. I guess I just didn’t expect it to all start in one day. I also didn’t expect it to all start on the day Jack also did unrelated, undesirable stuff.
I was so emotionally trashed, I almost canceled plans I had to go see friends for dinner. I’m glad I didn’t. These four lovely ladies helped me forget temporarily about mean kids and inappropriate behavior.