Last night my son had his feelings hurt. The reason that this is a larger deal than normal, honestly, I would have just ignored it in most cases, is that one, it was preventable and two, he had no idea what he did wrong. And I couldn’t take his hurt feelings and make it into a lesson because I didn’t know what he did wrong. So instead it caused tension, stress and ultimately, it caused a rough night for my son.
I will back up and tell you the story. My neighbors have a four-year old girl who my son is friends with. They, for the most part, play well together. Typically, my neighbors and I “trade” kids, where they will all be at my house one night, and the next over there. There is never any planning, and I never keep count of who has what, who has fed the most dinners, etc. My son asked to go play over there last night, I agreed and off he went. What I didn’t know is that the mother wasn’t feeling good, therefore she was asleep in the bedroom and the father was in charge.
If I had known that going in, my child would never have been there in the first place. If I had known that the father, who expects all children to be self-sufficient and get along without his intervention, was the one in charge, my child would never have been there in the first place. I wouldn’t have allowed it, and not because I have a problem with the father, I just wouldn’t have done it to my son.
Next thing I know my son is upset, and he doesn’t know why. From what I pieced together while the mother was sleeping, the children were playing. As this was a four and five-year old they got a little loud. Perfectly normal. The father asked the kids to keep it down, so they went into the kid’s bedroom and got loud. Perfectly normal. Again the father asked the kids to keep it down, but this time because of his level of anger used my son as an excuse to stop the madness. He ordered my son to go home. Kicked my son out without an explanation or a reason that a five-year old child could understand. My child was devastated.
He used my kid, and rather than handle this a million other ways, he simply told a sensitive five-year old kid to leave now. My son, who is amazingly sweet along with being sensitive didn’t know what to do except go. But he didn’t know why. Once he entered my home, my husband was upset and angry which snowballed all night, and I was forced to first make my son feel better and then flee for my life. I wasn’t in a place last night to handle the stress going around without doing something or saying something that would have made it worse. So I forced myself to leave altogether. Not the greatest thing to do, but the only thing I felt that I could do. I had to let the ball roll.
The truth of this whole situation is it is my neighbor’s fault for allowing my son to be there in the first place. He probably thought that with the two kids playing, they would distract each other enough that he could sit on the couch and watch TV. A four-year old girl and a five-year old boy are never going to give you a chance to watch TV. Most parents know better than to even try it. If it was peace you wanted, after working all day, two children in the same house is not the answer.
It made me angry that he hurt my child. And it was a big hurt, because my son didn’t know why. He was having fun and then he was being yelled at by his friends’ dad and told to get out of his house. I can handle others “parenting” my child to a certain extent. Reminding them to say please, asking them to calm down, etc. But I can’t handle my son’s feelings being hurt to that degree. My son couldn’t understand that the father made a mistake last night allowing him even in the door and this was his way of making it better for himself. My son is only now understanding the concept of being selfish, and purposely mean. And it is a lesson that I am trying my damnest to keep him from learning completely.
I will end up having a talk with the mother. I will end up trying to find a nice way to make sure that my son isn’t put in this position again, without my son losing a friend. I will end up trying to placate the whole thing so that my son is helped. And I hate that, because what I really want to do is pound that jerk in the sidewalk for hurting my kid. A kid that no matter how many times I say he didn’t do anything wrong, will always believe that he did. He simply doesn’t have the personality to let go; and he doesn’t have the ability to not internalize this as a set down.
Children are supposed to be hurt. They are supposed to get bruises on their knees and bruises on their heart. It is a part of life, and I can not and will not shelter my child from it all. I think that all lessons are important, the ones that are exciting and the ones that hurt. But, what I never realized is that being a mother to such hurt would not only take my breath away, but cause every mother lion gene to literally jump up and defend. Instinctively and immediately.
You want to hurt my child, try it. You won’t get very far. I will be there with the world’s strength and every weapon at my disposal. And your life has no meaning when it comes down to the fight between my children’s heart and your soul. It is that simple and that real.