I am not a violent person.
I’ve never picked a fight or thrown a punch, although I have imagined myself doing it many times over! I’m more of the timid, shy kind. I would hardly have even voiced my opinion growing up fearing any kind of confrontation. My battle burns inside me. I’ll have a whole conversation, resulting in me victoriously winning the battle, playing over every scenario with every detailed conversation pre planned in my head… yet nothing has actually happened. Tell me I’m not the only one?!
But. When someone tries to hurt my child, this unwavering fire ignites inside and I am ready to tear whoever that person is into tiny little pieces so much so, that they can no longer find the scum of a human they once were. Slightly dramatic I know, but I am one passionate mumma!
Being a preppy I genuinely didn’t think we would need to cross this bridge of explaining to my children that there are deranged humans out there who spend their lives tormenting innocent people for no reason at all. Especially not 2 weeks into a school year!
Randomly at dinner one night Jacob told me that 2 boys came and grabbed him and his cousin in the playground at lunchtime that week. His recollection of the event was so vivid I literally asked him if it was a dream. “It was real life, I promise” he claimed. Being my child he also knows I don’t tolerate lying… so when he was so adamant this actually happened I had no choice but to believe him.
Who were these boys?
What did they look like?
Where did they come from?
How old were they?
“I don’t know”.
Apparently they wore a white t-shirt. AKA the school uniform and one of them had hair like me. Very descriptive Jacob… you have to laugh.
His ninja moves helped him escape the clutches of the boy who grabbed him so much so that the boy went off into the yard. Then Jacob focused his attention on freeing his cousin. He grabbed at the older boys arms until he let his cousin go and they sped off to safety in the playground. Very heroic on his part and not an ounce of fear in his story telling. I was so proud of him and I genuinely didn’t think he was in any danger until my mind had time to process it and I dug a little deeper.
He swore to me that he did nothing to provoke these kids. “They were nasty mum”. There was no doubt in his mind. “They’re nasty rats”. [Insert my little giggle here] When I asked him if he had hurt this boy when he was pulling his arms off his cousin he casually responded to me, “No mum, he was still alive”. I cracked up laughing, “Of course you didn’t kill him hunny!”.
We slowly but surely got more information out of his cousin who hadn’t spoken a word of the incident to his parents. Another little friend at school had witnessed the incident and upon asking, confided more details to his mum that he had also run to get help and the teacher in the school yard had ignored him and kept talking and talking. Now that made me livid.
That entire evening I played over in my mind what I would do to these two boys when I found out who they were and what I would say to them. How I would rattle their bones with fear so they would never come near my child again or even think about tormenting someone else. I told you I was a little crazy.
My brother was bullied as a child, in school and also from family. I still replay those thoughts in my mind because I know deep down this has all contributed to who he is today and my only wish is that I could go back in time and be bold enough to say something – to somehow make it right. I have seen first hand how these incidents stay with you and shape you into who you become, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing but the self love work and body image issues that come with bullying over your ‘weight’ are horrific and for most people, they never recover. Bullying is bullying, any nature of bullying has the same damaging effect.
I don’t want this for my child let alone someone else’s and after sharing with some of the mums in his class I was horrified to find out that another child in his class had been strangled and dumped on the grass by an older child at lunch time in the past 2 weeks. He hadn’t confided in his parents either. Luckily his buddy had come to his aid and his sister and the grass stains on his shirt had given away the story to his parents.
A few days passed, some more mixed messages from teachers, lots of “you need to calm down” from my husband, sleepless nights being so worked up and still things had not been resolved. When I found out these boys had been confronted and then lied to the teachers I was reeling.
Finally on the Friday the Vice Principal sought me out in the school yard at the end of the day to explain how she had handled the situation. I couldn’t fault her, she had handled it perfectly and my mind was well and truly at ease. In saying that, Jacob has been worded up to tell these little pip squeaks that “my mum knows where you live and she’ll get you”… I was going to throw in a “you better sleep with one eye open”, and “she’ll break every bone in your body” but I decided to keep it PG for now.
He can’t understand what all the fuss was about, he thinks he’s a superhero (which he is and always will be in my eyes) but as a parent I feel like it’s my duty to ensure his safety and protect future victims. I explained to him that he was lucky, had he not been there his cousin might not be so lucky and if we don’t speak up and do the right thing then these bullies won’t take responsibility for their actions. We have to be the change we want to see in the world.
My reaction to inflict pain on someone who is hurting someone else isn’t right, fighting fire with fire isn’t something I have ever taught my kids. It’s something I need to work on but the purpose of sharing my story is to be raw with emotion. I am a mother and my protective maternal instincts are on a whole different level of crazy. I have a feeling my children will be the ones schooling me on how to control these emotions, but as long as they are OK – I’m OK.
So I guess my take home message with this is to take a breath, pause and take about a 100 more deep breaths. Always find out the WHOLE situation before you react and sometimes as hard as it is, we need to step back and trust that someone else (far more experienced) can handle the situation and have our children’s best interests at heart. He was fine, it hasn’t scarred him and it’s shown me just how resilient he is. If this is a testament to how I’ve raised him then I will take this as a win and be so damn grateful that he’s safe and so sure of himself.