Monday, December 3, 2007

Forgive divine

As a single mother, I am always trying to teach my 13 year old son that women are to be respected and not objectified. In this age of lusty, sexual visuals it's increasingly difficult. He is easily embarrassed by, as he puts it "skanky girls" on television and in movies. He tells me he doesn't understand why they have their rear ends and chests on display. Now, I do realize he is young. I'm his mother. I see the positive. So, his views are to my credit. That is not to say he isn't curious and appreciative of the female form. I do honestly believe he's learning that ogling and staring are inappropriate. I know some grown men who could take a lesson from my man-cub.
So, the other night we were watching a movie. I'm pretty sure it was John Cusack's 1985 charmer, Better off Dead. He and I both love this movie. We've watched it so frequently we can quote many parts. I think what prompted his comment to me is that there is a character in the movie named Roy Stalin. He's an arrogant putz that treats women like pieces of old cube steak. My pride and joy says from across the room, "Mom, if I ever have a girlfriend, I won't care if she's pretty. As long as she treats me nicely I'll like her." I'll give you a moment to awwwww
Since kindergarten, the little girls my boy has liked have been unpopular, plain-Jane types. He'd talk about one little girl in particular. In my subconscious superficiality, I pictured a princess with bows perfectly adorning her curly brown locks. On a day of volunteering I met this mystery girl: Her tangled, mousy hair fell to her shoulders. She wore thick glasses that constantly had to be pushed up. He adored her; therefore, I instantly fell in love with her as well. I asked him why he liked her so much. First, he insisted she was his friend. Then, he revealed that she played with him when other kids wouldn't. He appreciated her inner beauty..."to me, she's pretty." I thought that was mighty profound for a 5 year old child.
The Man-cub has been taunted by a particular girl for 2 years. She's not toyed with him in a flirtatious manner, mind you. This young lady has been cruel and hateful. Instead of encouraging him to push back, I asked him to find it in himself to be compassionate. I suggested that she might have a bad home life; no one to kiss her and say 'I love you' as she left for school. He's admitted that it's often difficult and he'll raise his voice in frustration. It's never been bad enough for his teachers to contact me. However, I have inquired about this girl's continuing badgering. I recently spoke to the woman who was my son's teacher's aide. She confided in me that the girl in question had indeed been in an unstable environment. She's one of 7 children. She and her twin sister were told they were no longer wanted (by their mother) and given to foster care. My face fell in shock. I shared with the teacher's aide how I had encouraged Spenser to deal with this girl. I added that I had alerted the school administration about the ongoing issue. They promised to monitor it. I mean, they have to since bullying has a zero tolerance policy. She told me she would personally talk to the girl. Apparently, she saw the need in this girl's life for a positive role model and took it upon herself to do so.
I felt it necessary to inform Man-cub that his means of handling 'the girl' was appropriate and well praised. He was exhibiting the Golden Rule. I insisted that he keep this information about her foster care to himself as I did not want her to suffer ridicule or embarrassment. We were discussing his school day as we always do, and he told me about the Christmas cards that he was making for his teachers and Grandma. "Oh, and I made one for A, too. I told her Merry Christmas and that I was sorry for yelling at her when I was angry." A being the young lady who's harassed him. As corny as this may sound, my son just gave me the best gift any mother could receive at this joyous time of year.
He knows his gesture of kindness and wiping the slate clean may not be welcomed or outwardly appreciated. It came from his heart to let her know that bygones are bygones. He's learned to do something I find incredibly difficult: Forgiving my enemies. The student becomes the teacher.


1 comment:

  1. Crying...Spen is extraordinary. And so, my darling sister, is his mother. One time Dad told me that he was proud of what I had taught my sons. "You are the one who made them who they are. And they are wonderful children. Be proud!" On this Christmas Eve, hear those words being sent to you. Dad knows. The Father knows. Merry Christmas!

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