Over the weekend, we went to the park to meet some friends and spend some time outside. My son is unbelievably social; I’m sure he wishes he had the time to meet and play with every child in the park, or in the city even. After a while of playing, I went to sit with my friends as another parent jumped up like a tag team. The dad returned about 30 minutes later and another parent was already on her way to chaperone. He sat next to me and told me something that was starting to become familiar. My son had already been called a midget twice.
“What did he do?” I asked.
“Nothing, really. It looked like it didn’t even bother him, he just walked right by him and played with the other boys.” He answered and shrugged his shoulders.
“That was it? No problems?”
“Nope, that was it.”
We’ve had a couple of problems at that park recently, the last time almost resulting in a junior sized rumble when his buddies were not in the tolerant mood. I had talked with him about it and the fact that nothing was accomplished by their stand off except a boost to his self esteem. We talked about the opportunities of such an encounter and the dignity of handling situations in a peaceful manner.
Okay, all moms probably say the same thing and boys will do what boys do. I had observed him a few times in confrontational situations. He is a stubborn little boy and I am definitely not looking forward to the day when he comes home after being in a fight…the thought that makes most moms cringe. His uncle telling him, “You can’t win a fight unless you’ve been in a fight,” didn’t help my arguments. But he has been coaching him in what I will only refer to as self defense. After all, he has the right to protect himself. My personal definition of self defense is: You can force someone to stop hurting you.
So, what was going to happen before the sun set on this day at the park? I was braced for whatever it was … or so I thought.
It was the close of the day, moms and dads headed towards the playground. I saw Jax stomping towards the group with a boy following behind him. He didn’t look happy; the boy had obviously been taunting him. I was in earshot of them when Jax stopped, turned around and faced the boy with attitude.
“What is it with you? I’ve had it with you chasing me and calling me names! If I’m so stupid, why are YOU following me?” He said and left both the boy and I jaw-dropped. He then turned and continued walking, effectively leaving his heckler in the dust.