Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Hurt behind the Truth

His Best Friend "Al the Moose"

    I have a rule with my son that when things happen in life that are unfair or hurtful, I tell him the truth. It's not easy but as parents it's necessary. I'm not talking is there a Santa (still believe in him) or who ate my Jelly Beans (probably me...) but why did they call me names or why don't they want to play with me questions.

The ones that punch you in the face as parent and bring out your inner Chuck Norris.

    I've spent so many moments in a church hallway, a park bench, and now tomorrow my own home, explaining to my son that there are people out there that are sometimes just mean. Sometimes they don't know any better. Sometimes they do. Sometimes they are asking honest questions about him and sometimes they are asking him to change. The one consistent thing in these talks is that my son is hurt and crying and doesn't understand why people are mean. Too be honest...neither do I.

    For those who haven't read any other posts here, My son is an amazing, strong willed, red-headed
Shout out to the Parents who have taken "that walk"...
bolt of energy that tires me out on my good days. The reality is I wouldn't change that. He got really sick when he was about 6 months old with chronic ear infections. Just one right after the other till his little drums busted...and then started over again. He has such a high pain tolerance that most of the time you wouldn't know he was sick. He was always smiling and laughing. The problem is that he wasn't hearing. We weren't able to communicate. So we taught ourselves our version of sign language based on what he was already trying to sign. As well, he was really good at reading faces and body language so that helped him understand what was going on to a degree. After he had tubes put in at 2 years old, his hearing got better, his speech therapy has helped his actual speech, but his comprehension still has some holes in it. This is where it gets complicated. People see a rambunctious 5 year old who is willfully disobedient. In reality he is a 4 year old who has trouble assessing the situations sometimes and over compensates by being crazy. Don't get me wrong...he's willfully disobedient too, but not every time like people think.
Willfully Crazy here as he "runs away"
yet again.

He's too loud because he can't hear his own volume correctly.

He's too big for his own age group.

He's too "dumb" for the older kids.

He's easily hurt by every insult thrown at him by everyone like Frankenstein, Monster, Stupid...You understanding the picture yet? Here's where I get angry though. Kids are kids. They learn as they make mistakes. Adults though? They should know better.

    I found out last night that a situation that I thought was a non-issue is actually a big issue. That two sweet friends of mine are stuck in the middle having to choose sides like it's middle school again. That apparently another girl, a mom nonetheless, will not be in the same room as me because...who knows why. Last I heard it was vaccination opinion differences but given that it has escalated this far over the course of a few months without me knowing about the seriousness till this week, who knows the reason now. What I do know is this girl putting her foot down in such a childish manner has caused our mutual friends to have separate play dates, girls night ins, you name it. It went so far that when we were invited to the same play date, one of us couldn't go.

    My sweet friend was put in the position of "uninviting" us to appease this mom. I honestly don't blame them. It's simple logistics and timing. But I do blame the mom who started this. Who couldn't come to me like an adult and talk things over when all we had was a simple difference of opinion. Because now, thanks to her actions I get to explain to my little boy tomorrow when he asks "when are we going to go see my friends?" in reference to the play date he knows is happening...that we aren't going. Not because of him. But because someone has an issue with a decision I made in regards to him. A decision I have the right to make. What's worse is that none of this will affect her. She won't be the one wiping his tears, or explaining that it's really not him this time. She will be able to get away scott free on this matter when it comes to the damage to my son. And she probably won't even realize it.

    I know there are some that are reading this and thinking, "just lie to him then". I don't do that with my son for two reasons. First, it's a commandment. Thou shalt not lie. One I'm pretty adamant about. Second, if I want my son to trust me then he has to know he can. Lying undermines trust like nothing else. The truth hurts like nothing else sometimes but it has never undermined trust. He needs to know that I will always be honest with him on these issues so in the future we have a foundation to help us through bigger issues that can have an even bigger impact on him.

    I get that we all parent differently. We are all different people with different beliefs and different backgrounds. But while I would normally be nice and wrap this up with a great little pick me up today I'm not. Today is different because today I get to be the bad guy and break my little boys heart and then try and repair it. So while we go about our parenting today can we all remember that we don't have the right to inflict our beliefs on others. We don't have the right to bully others. We certainly don't have the right to dictate to others how to raise their kids. And if we can't get that, then remember simply that your actions as adults have an impact on innocent children. 

Best Wishes,
Jules & Monkey

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