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Mama bear reflects

First of all, I want to thank everyone for your thoughtful replies and advice. When I wrote that post, I was in tears for my boy. I was sad and angry and wanted to drop-kick the bullies to the moon.

I’ve emailed my son’s teacher. I believe my she will take these events seriously and will be open to discussing what happened yesterday. She’s a warm person my son trusts and respects. I don’t think she’s the type to knowingly let any of her students down.

From talking with my son, he’s been feeling somewhat excluded and avoided for a few weeks now—but never the target of so much ugliness and hate. It all came to a head yesterday. It was too much for him to bear. I didn’t know. He had been trying to deal with it on his own, and if it hadn’t been for my other son seeing him crying in the hallway, I still might not know.

Sure, I’d take note he was more quiet and not very enthused about school, but I chalked that up to end-of-the-year weariness and maybe a little cold virus. I really thought things were going well for him. Dumb mom.

Yesterday was unique in that there were several classrooms participating together in the medieval unit. Kids were traveling to different stations, looking at classmate’s posters. My son said it was during these rotations that kids were scribbling on his poster, telling him he was a nerd and his poster was stupid and calling him the other names mentioned. The teacher he spoke to wasn’t his homeroom teacher. I am thinking she wanted to talk to my son’s regular teacher first? I don’t know.

Dropping him off at school today was insanely difficult and I thought about him all day. When I picked the kids up from school, I was very anxious to hear how it went. Of course, it was complicated by a day-long field study to a geology museum. The usual dynamics weren’t in place, so I wasn’t expecting to hear any solid news. I was surprised.

He told me that before school started, two of the boys who told him they weren’t his friends any more apologized! I was shocked and heartened by this. Flabbergasted, really, because that’s a huge change of heart. I have to give credit to all the prayers that sailed on my sweet boy’s behalf. Really, what else could it have been? A well-timed Spongebob episode about bullies? Jiminy Cricket? The rest of his day went okay, too.

He looked like a different kid.

Problem solved? No way. He is a kid who is vulnerable to bullies. He is trusting, naive, and quirky. He is awesome and funny and bright and if kids would just take a minute to get to know him, they’d have a true and lifelong friend. Sigh.

I am so grateful he had a good day after some of the worst in his academic history, but as a mom I know that the issue will come up again and again.

I will rest tonight, remember his smile, and pray it stays.

19 comments to Mama bear reflects

  • Oh, I’m so glad today went well for him!

    And that’s an awesome testimony to the power of prayer.

    Brenna had a similar situation where a girl was really mean to her. We prayed that night, and the next day that girl apologized, too!

    Robin’s last blog post..Six months old today

  • i’m glad. my oldest daughter is the same way and we have discussions about bullies a lot. sometimes i think girls are worse. especially ages 11-13 girls.

    chickadee@afamiliarpath’s last blog post..Everyone wants to know how to do stuff

  • I’m so glad to hear he had a better day. That must have strengthened his heart to hear those apologies from those other kids.

    I really hope his teacher is in contact with you. Bullying should be taken very seriously, and even though you are your child’s best advocate, the teacher should be a strong second.

    Hugs to you, my friend, because I know how this must weigh on your heart.

    Stephanie’s last blog post..Week 252: It’s amazing what a little sunshine can do for my mood…

  • It’s amazing that the two boys apologized. I am so, so thankful for that, on your son’s behalf.

    And I’m glad his next day at school was better.

    I am praying for you and your family, so that this situation may continue to improve.

    Goslyn’s last blog post..So Much Depends Upon a Red Snow Shovel

  • Valerie

    How wonderful Gretchen. I am so glad those two boys apologized. I will continue to pray for you son.

  • That is so great that they apologized!

    You are not a dumb mom. Those were all things that could have easily been going on with your boy.

    As moms, we expect so much of ourselves, we expect to notice and determine the cause of things going on in our kid’s lives, but we can’t.

    I don’t think it was by chance your other son saw him crying in the hall, that was God stepping in and showing you what was happening.

    You are a great mom, Gretchen.

    Kristin’s last blog post..It’s As Easy As 1, 2, 3

  • edj

    What good news! How amazing that those boys apologized. And knowing further details (i.e. not his reg teacher, etc) makes sense.

    My boy is like yours–naive and quirky and funny and big-hearted. An awesome friend, but a bully-magnet. Here’s hoping to a great rest of the year for both of them.

    edj’s last blog post..8 Years & Counting…

  • Praying hard for a smile firmly in place, regardless of what life dishes out. Praying for a sweet solid friend for your son.

    The quirky ones are my favorites. Unfortunately we, er…they…are misunderstood by the ignorant masses.

    Jenni’s last blog post..tonight

  • I have tears in my eyes reading this post. I am so relieved that a horrible day was followed by a good one. After your original post, I prayed that night not just for you and your son, but also for the bullies and that God would soften the heart of at least one child in the class who would reach out in friendship.

    I’m happy you were able to discern a little more information about what happened and pray that the teacher will be alert to these issues going forward so that there are many more great days and far fewer awful ones.

    Shayne’s last blog post..Earth Day

  • Oh, tears. I know how heavy this is on your heart. I’ve gone through similar things with Noah. I want to go to his school right now and scoop him up.


  • Oh I’m so glad things have worked out the way that they have. What an encouragement to see him smiling after two days of misery. I’m so thankful God allowed your other son to see him crying in that hallway so this could be addressed. What a sweetie.

    Heth’s last blog post..Making My Kids Eat Gross Stuff- My Life’s Mission

  • bro-de-mopsy

    Praise God – I prayed for him at my desk yesterday! I will continue to pray for this, I certainly remember guys from school that made my life miserable. Things that stick with me to this very day, even 20 years later. Things that I wish I had said differently, or done differently. But you can’t change the past, just look for the future. Lets hope the situation improves and he isn’t left with scars of his past like I am.

  • Amy

    The news of the apology brought tears to my eyes. What an answer to prayer.

    Don’t beat yourself up about not knowing your boy was struggling. You are not with him all day, and unless he or his teacher tells you something outright, you have no way of knowing.

    My boy is well liked at school, but he has still had to deal with bullies. Unfortunately, it appears to be something that most kids have to deal with.

    I will continue to pray for your sweet boy.

    Amy’s last blog post..Why Home Ownership is Highly Overrated

  • amy

    I’m glad to hear this news, it would be nice if he could finish the year on a positive note.

  • Katrina

    I’m so glad to read this update! My heart broke for you and your boy as I read your last post… I, too, have a son who is vulnerable to bullies and the general cruelty that shows up in school on a far-too-regular basis. It’s hard, but these good days (and weeks, and sometimes years!) are wonderful and appreciated.

  • ann

    I’m so thankful he had a better day, and that those other two kids apologized. I really like how you described your son…trusting, naive, quirky, awesome, funny and bright. I love that.

    ann’s last blog post..Late Afternoon Run

  • That is such good news. At least he had a good day. There will be more hard days, but there will be good days, too. (I just mistyped and wrote Godd days. I don’t think it was an accident.)

    Cyndi’s last blog post..

  • A couple of years ago I read this book by Frank Peretti (

    Not a big Peretti fan normally, but this is a personal experience book about bullying and you will never ever look at bullying in the same light again… it was an eye-opener because I had always looked at bullying as something my kids would have to learn to stand up to in life. But no this book changed my outlook completely and I don’t tolerate any -any- form of bullying at home or away because of it!

    se7en’s last blog post..Se7en and ProBlogger’s 31-DBBB Part 3…

  • I’m so glad… my oldest has ups and downs with how well things go at school, it is heartbreaking at times because I feel so sad when he is sad.

    banteringblonde’s last blog post..My Car Is Jinxed

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