Friday, August 19, 2011
(this is a picture of you last week..your baseball team won first place this season with only 1 loss-Go Bandits!)
your personality is being shaped day by day, and I am so blessed that I get to witness your maturity. You started 2nd grade this week, and your school also merged with another elementary school in the area. On Wednesday you came home and told me about an encounter that occurred during recess on the kickball field. You and your buddies have been playing kickball at recess since Kindergarten, so you have a set and established set of "rules" you all adhere to. For example, there are "foul balls", and "you can't pitch bouncy", and so on and so forth. Well, when two schools combined, the East kids came over with their own set of kickball rules...and this is where the rub began.
"Mom, there is a really mean bully from East and he was trying to cheat the whole time at kickball. He said he got to be "all-time pitcher", and he cheats with foul balls to. And if he gets hit he says it doesn't count."
"Did you try talking about it?"
"Yes! Then when I caught a fly ball for the 3rd out, I walked off the field and the kid said, "Dude, what are you doing Smart-head! You have to throw the ball at someone for an out." I told him that if you catch the ball, that's an out. Then when I went to get the ball the next inning to be pitcher, he grabbed it from me and said only he pitches. He scratched my neck and my chest too."
"Well, you can either walk away and play something else, or you can try tomorrow to set up some rules before you play. You are going to have to compromise. But, if he touches you again, you be firm and strong and tell him not to put his hands on you again. If he doesn't listen, and he pushes you or hurts you, you do what you need to do to protect yourself."
"But if I touch him back I'll get a yellow card, and be in trouble."
"If you get in trouble at school for defending yourself against someone who is trying to hurt you, you will not get in trouble at home for that. You have to stand up to bullies."
So, we took the next few minutes and practiced how to use our words. We worked on using strong words in a strong voice. You were feeling good about the situation, but when Daddy came home at 9:30 at night you were laying in bed thinking about it. Daddy came in and talked about it with you, and you felt better after that conversation.
Thursday morning before you left, we took some time to pray about kickball at recess. And I prayed for you every time I was in the car running around yesterday. And to my surprise you came home with a great report.
"He tried to take the ball from me again, and Peyton (your buddy) came over to help me. We told him the rules, and we told him if he wanted to cheat he would have to find somewhere else to play. And he walked away and didn't play anymore."
I know this seems minor, but it's significant because you are learning to defend yourself. One of the qualities of a godly man is one who defends and protects his wife and family, and this little instance has helped shape you into that kind of warrior. Now, Daddy and I did talk to you about forgiveness, compromise, flexibility, and kindness. Daddy reminded you that Jesus tells us to love our enemies, and to pray for those who are mean to us. I even encouraged you to find the boy and see if he wanted to give kickball another try, although you weren't too keen on that idea. I am happy that you are setting boundaries in your life, and I am happy that you are open enough to speak up when someone is hurting you. You are turning out to be quite the young man.