Sunday, December 19, 2010

Mama Bear

Josh decided to have one of his best friends from school sleep-over since they were on Christmas break. His friend, Blake, arrived around 1:30 p.m. and then it was a race to see if they could have the most fun ever had in a day. They went upstairs, they went downstairs. They were inside, they were outside. They asked permission to go down the road to the elementary school to play on the playground. I said, yes, so long as Josh had his phone.

The home phone rings, but I can't find the phone. Andy is in the playroom with Benjamin and then he gets a call on his phone and says that Josh had tried to call. I find the home phone back and call Josh on the other line. Andy is reading a text Josh started to send when I didn't answer and he starts to get up to get his keys to go get him "boys stalking..."

While I was talking to Josh I just got the information that he and Blake were accosted by a group of 4-5 other boys. Then he just said, "Can you come up here. There's a group of boys stalking us talking about being gay and that they were going to scoop us or something." So, like I said, Andy was about to leave and I grabbed his keys and said, "No, I'm going." (You know that pent up Mommy frustration... I now had an outlet for it.)

And that was that. Just prior to leaving, I clarified a few points with Josh.

Once at the school, I drove around back to see if I could find said perpetrators and when I realized they were GOA (gone on arrival), I circled back around to the front of the school to see Josh and Blake waiting for me. It was then that I got the full story.

Josh and Blake were just hanging out and someone from the group yells, "HEY KID IN THE RED SHIRT" -- that would be Josh. They all run to where Josh and Blake are and kind of circle them. These boys proceed by telling Josh and Blake that they are gay (not Josh and Blake) and that they're going to "scoop" them and "swipe" them and called them "lesbians" (Blake didn't even know what that word meant) and, to be quite honest, I don't know what it means to "scoop" or to "swipe" someone. Josh told them to leave them alone and to go away. They didn't. Josh and Blake tried to leave and these kids wouldn't let them. Then they said that one of them tried to touch Blake in the chest and that was all I needed to hear. I got vague descriptions of 4 of the boys from Josh and Blake and tucked that away. I'm very thankful Josh pays attention to detail.

One was in a cammo shirt, one was a short kid who didn't do anything just be there, one was wearing a red Eagles jersey and the other wearing black with brown hair. Apparently the one in the red jersey was the one that was instigating, the leader of the "pack" if you will. He was the one running his mouth and HE was the one that tried to touch Blake on the chest.

"Where did they go?"

"They went through that gate in the fence right there." He points to a gate that opens up to the side of the elementary school.

So where did I go? You bet your a$$ -- I went right through that gate in the fence and marched right around to the front door.


A mom on the phone answers and I ask if she has a son about "these boys' age" (that matched one of the descriptions I gave her) who was recently out with a few other boys. She asks why and when I proceed to tell her she gets off the telephone quickly and she yells for her son.

"Yes, ma'am?"

"Do you know these boys?"

"Yes ma'am. I mean, I don't know them but I saw them earlier."

"Care to tell me what happened?"

I confirmed with Josh that he was one of the boys but that he wasn't the one doing the harassing. She told me where the other two lived -- at the end of their street on either corner. I asked permission to go back through their back yard and I loaded Josh and Blake up in the car and into the neighborhood we went.


I talked to another mom. She was appalled and yelled for HER son. Her son came to the door - he was wearing a cammo shirt and looked a little shocked to see ME standing there with the two kids he was picking on earlier but he knew what to do... point the finger at the other boy across the street.

I went there... DING DONG... and finally a DAD answered the door. I told him what happened and his wife was in the background. She was beyond a little pissed off and yelled for him to get over there (he was across the street with the little short kid and another one)... and guess what he was wearing -- a red Eagles jersey.

"COLE... what's this lady talking about you being gay and calling these boys lesbians and not letting them leave?"

"IT WASN'T ME I SWEAR. IT WAS______!" (The other boy across the street.)

She walks across the street to the other house and knocks on the door and talks to the boy there.... comes back yelling at her son, "EVEN ______ SAYS YOU DID IT."

I just looked at the dad and said, "My work here is done... I just wanted to make sure you were aware." He assured me that it would be taken care of and we all walked away.

Now, you have to know that I understand the whole "boys will be boys" but this wasn't even remotely a fair fight... five on two. Not fair. And name calling, I could really care less--sticks and stones... but I certainly didn't want these two to even assume it was okay to act like this so -- in my mind, I got involved because --as a mother -- I would want to know if my son was behaving in such a way. If my son was being a little twerp, I need to know. Sometimes you just have to let kids know who is boss and what is and what isn't acceptable.

The entire time this is going on... Josh's phone is blowing up with phone calls and text messages from Sadie (his friend Nick's current or possibly ex-girlfriend) and his friend Adam. I open his phone to just get it to shut up and I see Sadie's text message.

The first one said, "What the hell?"

The one immediately below it said, "You're a dick!"

This is from a 10 year old girl.


The only reason she HAS Josh's number is because Nick spent the night over here and since Josh has a phone and Nick does not -- it was a way for Nick to talk to his girlfriend. Josh has learned the hard way a) that's a no no and b) Mommy calls the shots on who can have his number. I'm very proud of him for not texting back such filth but told him not to engage in any sort of text war of the words with ANYONE that talking to someone face to face or on the phone (as a last resort) is the only way to communicate. I want to make sure that even though he's in the age of texting and electronic media -- he understands the concept of personal communication and that you can't hide behind the electronics....

So, I had Josh point out Sadie's house to me. With Josh's phone in hand, I pull up her two messages and walk to the front door. A nice looking very tall man answers the door.

"Are you Sadie's father?"

"Yes?" He looks quite concerned now.

I hold up Josh's phone so he can see what she texted. "Would you please have her remove Joshua's number from her telephone as she is not allowed to exchange text messages with him any longer. I've handled things on my end."

He looked at the message and with a look of surprise turned to his daughter who was, no doubt, standing right there since she heard her name and was immediately full of excuses. "...but, but, but HE started it. He was texting me FIRST."

I looked at all the messages. He did not.

On the way home I got to have a good "life lesson" talk to both Josh and Blake about several things. The first thing was that if you're guilty, admit it, be a man, accept the consequences / punishment, learn from it and move on. Pointing the finger at everyone else makes you a liar and a coward. They realized they wouldn't want friends who would implicate them if they were caught doing something. I also explained the importance of realizing that everything you say can come back to haunt you... somehow when you least expect it. Sadie didn't realize that I'm a diligent mom and I see my son's phone messages.

Andy said that I shouldn't have gotten involved but I beg to differ. #1, Josh is only 11 years old. #2, Josh and Blake did what they were supposed to... they asked them to leave, they tried to leave and they weren't able to #3, I want Josh to know that he is PROTECTED by us here and that he can call ANYTIME He is afraid or feels threatened and that we will make things okay. Secondly, these guys were talking about sexual acts and making lewd remarks. That's not okay. It's just not. If you even TALK about sexually assaulting my child... I don't care WHO you are or how old you are -- I WILL HURT YOU if I don't kill you first! I'll just put it out there because that's the truth. You do NOT want to mess with this woman. No. No, you do not.

I remember walking home from school and being called a "bitch" by Ian Scott. I remember being bullied by him and having him spit a snot wad in my hair! I remember being afraid to walk home after that.

I understand the need for Josh to "fight his own fights" but at this point in time, he's eleven. He's in fifth grade. He may have a leg out but for now, he's still firmly under my wing and that's where he will stay until he is confident to handle things on his own. Andy is from a different time where you could just kick someone's butt on the playground and it be over. You can't just do that anymore. Does it mean we're going to have a society of wimps? I doubt it... maybe, however, we'll have a few more level headed sweeties to take care of things in a more civilized manner. Until that time, I'm quite comfortable in my role of Mama Bear!

And to have both boys tell me "thanks" on the way home was all I needed to know that I did do the right thing -- at least in their eyes. And who isn't okay with being a superhero for a while? I mean, we all know in about 5 years you go from hero to zero in the eyes of your kids when they think they know it all. So, while I can still be a superhero in his eyes, you bet your sweet bippy this Mama Bear will do whatever it takes!


Brandt! said...

woo hooo .... you go girl!! What a great blog!

chksngr said...

I feel the same way as you...they did what they were supposed to and then called on somebody they know will protect them. Kids this age are still under our protection - haven't made the right of passage into adulthood just yet. GO MOM!!! and what the heck? a little girl with words like that to use on an 11 year old? Oh, heavens, I fear for my own son's school experiences.

Frugal Vicki said...

You go MAMA!!!! I love it! I hate that kids are doing and saying such awful things at such a young age. Terrifies me to my very soul.