Tuesday, January 8, 2013

A Flutter in my Heart (and Stomach!)

My heart (and stomach) have been fluttering all day.

I woke up this morning and drove my son to school.  His comment "I wish we could just move to California or something" alerted me to the ensuing drama.

"You just want to move to California so you can longboard" I repled.

"No actually, I want to get away from some of the kids in this town".

This is when the drama arrived.

Right after Evan was assaulted last year I was pretty diligent about asking how things were going with the kids at school without trying to be nosey or overbearing.  After many "things are good and no one seems to be retaliating or causing any further trouble" I let it go.  I gave him space in the hopes that 'normalcy' (if there is such a thing) could return.

This morning I could feel his energy change.  He was agitated.  And hey!  Just why was he asking to be driven to school all of a sudden and waiting until the last possible minute to ask?  Hmmmm...

I did what I could within the 20 foot drive to the school driveway to get some information out of him.  I explained that he would have to go to the VP and discuss what's happening, if nothing comes from that talk I would step in but I wanted him to take the initiative.

It was the quiet time on the drive back home that changed my mind.

I'm tired of bullying.  I'm tired of boys and girls thinking it's okay to knock someone down because of their hair, popularity, lifestyle choices, etc.  I'm tired of violence and verbal abuse in our children's lives.  I'm tired of my son feeling like he needs to be on alert because someone wants to kick his ass.

So I called the school myself, left a message.

Then I called the local OPP.  They were involved and very helpful with Evan last year and with this boy having been involved in the situation last year I felt I needed some guidance as to what my next steps are.

Within an hour I had an officer at my door wanting to chat about what was happening.  It didn't matter that there had not been any physical violence and that I was pretty much going on my son's emotional state and what little information I got out of him on the way to school.

I'm told that the school is monitoring the situation.  The other boy has not been spoken to or alerted (at this point).  They don't believe there is a threat because the intimidation isn't consistent and it seems a lot of it is hearsay (you know, one kid tells another kid that that kid wants to kick your kids ass).

For a moment today I felt stupid for 'over reacting'.  I felt stupid for involving the authorities.  I felt like I was being over protective and silly. 

That moment was annihilated when my son called for a ride home from school.  He said "Mom, I just feel like something is going to happen, I don't know what and I don't know when but I don't feel safe walking to and from school if I'm not in a large group of friends".  I trust my kids intuition. 

He is literally formulating his walk home everyday, making sure he has friends to walk with and that he won't be alone.

Do you have to do that when you go somewhere?  I know I don't!

No.  My feelings of over reaction were just ego wanting to keep me in my small, shrunken state.  I'm not staying put.  My son and every other child who has been challenged by bullies desires the right to stand in their power, stand in the knowing that their safety and well being is priority number one in someone's life and that it doesn't matter how old or young you are, you have the power to make things right in your world.

I love having these experiences with my children.  Every once in a while they remind me of my place on this planet and they show me what can be done when you are passionate about creating change.

I don't know what will come of this situation today but I am glad I embraced the opportunity to move forward and take a stand.  I think it's important to model this behaviour for our kids even if we have to do it with a flutter in our heart (and stomach).


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