I have been working too much. That fact became glaringly obvious yesterday evening. It's ridiculous that my son has suffered the consequences of the shortcomings of my work place and I have to fix it.
Tuesday brought me a day off. Finally. I'd worked 8 days straight with the majority of those days keeping me away from home due to working until closing (9 PM). Mancub and I haven't spent much quantity or quality time together. He sees that I am stressing. He's not a selfish boy. He's compassionate and due to that, he has spared me any additional stress. Or so he thinks that is what he's doing. But last night all that he's bottled up came to a head and he let out how much he hates his school and the kids that inhabit it. He's a big kid, but a gentle giant. He's easily upset by rude remarks. They know it and pick at him. His efforts to ignore it are often futile. The beasts know if they keep at him he will eventually display how much they are bothering him. Then, the desired result comes to fruition.
We'd gone out to practice driving. His driver's education teacher told him he needed practice turning his signal on and braking. He was hesitant to go out driving, but made the decision that practice was required. At one point he failed to look to his right at a yield sign. I had and no cars were coming. When I pointed out that he hadn't been observant and the consequences of not paying attention -- we would have been struck by a vehicle where my side would have been impacted, his eyes welled up with tears. Shortly after that we returned home and he sunk into the couch. His body language was that of defeat and sorrow. As he removed his shoes, I apologized for being harsh. He removed his glasses and wipes his face. It was then that I asked if my absence the past couple of weeks bothered him. At that point my otherwise stoic child began to cry. I reached out my arms and he stood to hug me... breaking down on my shoulder. He now towers over me when we embrace, but for that moment in time he was my wee little boy again. We sat on the couch where he collapsed in my embrace and just sobbed. That's when he confided that school was horrible and he's near a breaking point. He's endured harassment for years, but we manage to find resolution through diligently following through with administration. The fact that it is necessary makes me furious and nauseous. To consider what my son faces day in and day out enrages me to a point where I want to march in and lay into every single kid and adult he encounters.
Once he regained composure, it was my turn to offer some comfort beyond holding him. That is when I found myself giving him the "it will get better" talk. I shared with him the recent news about kids his age ending their lives because it was the only way they saw freedom from being bullied and terrorized. It was emphasized how vital it is for him to talk to me no matter how tired or stressed I may seem about work. He always says things are OK. Now I'm aware that I need to be specific when I ask how his day was rather than being generic with a blanket question. My job will not take precedence over his sense of emotional security.
It sickens me that he's enduring such crap. Here is this amazing boy who tries to see the best in everyone. Teachers adore him and he is penalized with spitefulness from other students. As I said, he is compassionate and generous. He works hard for his excellent grades. That is all he wants to do, but even that seems to bring him grief from his peers. He's tried to sympathize that many of those kids come from shit homes all the while recognizing that he doesn't have an active father in his life. He has me. We don't have a lot, but we don't behave like we're owed something from the world because of it. He doesn't act entitled of empathy because his father isn't around. Society doesn't shun him because he's a product of divorce. I don't know what kind of lives the cruel kids live in, but I'm tired of my child being subjected to their way of life.