yeah, so Squire Tuck got beaten up in school a couple weeks ago.
to say that he's one of the bravest people i know is the spin i like best for this right now. as in, the morning after it happened i told him he didn't have to go to school if he didn't feel like it, and he said, "they made me really sad and they made me really mad, but i don't want them to feel like they made me afraid, and the best way to show them that is to go back to school." and he went.
it's hard, the way you want desperately to be and to show that you are 100% on his side. it's hard because the first thing is that you want to say "how did it get to this point?" and you want your kid to be able to take responsibility for his part, if he had one. everything starts somewhere. but it's not about who started it, once he's on the floor and someone else is kicking him.
Squire Tuck is not the only one being targeted. Squire Tuck is perhaps the only one who was held down by one kid while other kids kicked him, but Squire Tuck is not the only one afraid to go to school. Squire Tuck is not the sole target, and more obviously Squire Tuck is not the only person hurt by this. it's all very messy. it is smeared with pain. bullies suck.
so there's been a class meeting, and we've had a meeting with the teacher, and with the school psychologist. it's all quite informative. to say that i'm furious would be an understatement, but what i want is not retribution, but resolution. i want it to stop; i want it to be stopped for good.
anyway, anyway. this horrible thing happened to my boy. the things about it that suck are nearly everything. the things that do not suck are of interest and so i will share them:
about Squire Tuck: what saves this story is that Squire Tuck told me about it, that he knew it had to be talked about, and when he was done talking and listening he said he didn't feel like talking about it any more for a while. there is licking wounds and there is picking scabs, and Squire Tuck knows which is which. that's a strength. and i liked that when we talked about it, that he doesn't think of this in terms of what he should change about himself so that it doesn't happen again, but in terms of how he should deal with this person so that it doesn't happen again. he knows he's not broken. i think that's awesome.
about others: this feeling i have that everyone i tell becomes part of this mass of people behind us, this collection of people who love Squire Tuck and see him for who he is. is he a silly boy, is he american, does he have blue eyes, is he small for his age, does he have a freakish fondness for swords and fantasy? yes. is discussing these things moving towards solving the problem? no, not really. because first of all, we can't change most of it, and secondly, he's not the one who did something wrong. i knew i'd have to cover some ground again that i'm tired of covering; i expected that. BUT! i did not expect his friend's mother to take me out for wine and perspective; his circus teacher to offer to walk him to school; my parents to make a late-night call offering any assistance i could imagine. friends and family: the army of Squire Tuck.
so that's where we are.