Growing up, I think I might have been a little different. We weren't rich. I didn't wear the latest fashions. My height was definitely an issue. I can remember the relentless teasing starting in 7th grade all the way through high school because of my height; Big Bird, giraffe, etc. I HATED being tall. I hated school.
There's been a lot of press about bullying lately. A sad reality of our society. Picking on someone because they're different in order to feel better about your own short-comings. From Columbine to the recent tragedy of Phoebe Prince, taking her own life because 9 classmates tortured her daily.
I take bullying seriously. I've been a victim of it. Maybe not as much as the stories mentioned above, but it was still enough to wound my self-esteem. That's a whole other blog topic.
Imagine our surprise when we found out that our very own son was inadvertently participating in bullying. Thankfully, it didn't get out of hand yet the poor young man has endured a lot of pain this school year.
The Mayor & I had a LONG talk with Slugger about this. We shared our own experiences of being teased for being different. We encouraged Slugger be a leader we know he is instead of the follower he tends to be. We also reminded him that Jesus would befriend the boy being teased, not Justin and his classmates who have been doing the teasing; reminding him that Jesus' disciples were people who society hated, not the 'religious' men of His time.
Today is a proud moment as a mom. Slugger went to school and befriended the young man who has been teased this year. He took time & talked with the boy only to find out that they have SO much in common. I'm proud of my son.
He still hasn't gotten the courage to tell others about this friendship, but this is a step in the right direction. My son has managed to see this boy in a new light. My prayer is that HE will be able to influence his class.
Another parenting hurdle cleared.... many more to come.