Right now, my son Philip is a little too young but I know one day, he will get older and start noticing the uncool or odd or unpopular kids in class. My secret hope and dream is that he would have enough empathy one day to be friends with these kids and to not make fun of them for their shortcomings, whatever they maybe.
The source of inspiration for this post was this poem that was shared on social media. It was written by a 10 year old autistic boy. It brought tears to my eyes. As a mom, I wanted to take this little boy in my arms, hold him and tell him that he is loved and he is accepted.
|Taken off of "Mommy Needs Vodka" Facebook page. According to Mommy Needs Vodka, this poem was written by a 10 year old boy called Benjamin Giroux|
After some reflection, I realized that being alternative gives me an advantage with regards to parenting my son. I dress all in black, I have tattoos and piercings. I am well aware that already some people find me odd, I have experienced some disdain from some people in the past, especially from other parents and there is a good chance this kind of prejudice may trickle down to their kids.
In addition, my son was bullied in daycare and in school. He knows what it feels like. This is more of a complicated story that I have posted about a couple of weeks ago. You can click here if you would like to read more.
I am going to get geeky here for a moment but the best way I can describe this is by using a Star Wars reference. You see, I don't always have a positive view when it comes to humanity but I try to use Luke Skywalker as an example. In the Return Of The Jedi, Luke is aware that Darth Vader is his own father and is also made aware of his fate. Luke refuses to kill his father and feels that there must be some other way to redeem his name. Luke manages to turn his father away from the darkside because unlike everyone else, Luke sees that there is still some good in him. When Philip was being bullied, some of the things I told him that his bully may be hurting but just doesn't know how to show it without being mean to other people. Just like how Philip screams when he is angry. A couple of weeks ago, I was at Philip's school and the bully came up to me and hugged me. Normally, my son gets really jealous when I show affection towards other children but he didn't.When I asked Philip why he didn't get angry when his bully came to me for affection, he told me something that made me beam with pride: "I remember what you told me mommy. Maybe he just needs someone to make him feel better and you are the best person for the job because you always make me feel better when I am sad.He needed a mommy like you"
I admit, Philip still holds grudges and still picks fights with the bully. He can't get over some of the things that have occurred. In some instances, I don't really blame him. On the other hand, Philip does play with the kid when he is being nice. He still found some good in the kid and perhaps I am reading too much into this but I think Philip feels that if he gives the kid positive attention when he is being nice, perhaps the bully would be nicer to other kids? I am proud that he does stand his ground and sticks to his boundaries too. Philip will speak out and intervene when another child is being bullied and he wont let a bully get away with picking on him. I admire that bravery too. In fact, some of the older kids in his school look out for the kindergartners. I can only hope he will continue down this path later on. I originally didn't want to write this post because I didn't want to be that sort of mom who toots her own horn. On the other hand, I could parent all I want. Philip was the one who decided to be proactive in all of this. I only led him in the right direction and I am very proud of how he has handled everything so far. I wanted to take a moment to sing his praises because I am a proud mom.
Speaking of bullies, Voltaire recently did a really great video on the subject. I would like to share it here: