Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Three Stories

#1--We have a trampoline.  One that is not used nearly enough, but when it is, it is an all out brawl in the Octagon of Death.  The other day the boys got into one of these tussles.  There were punches, blonde hair and bodies flying all over the place.  And then there were tears.  Now you might be able to assume, by looking at our boys, who ended up where.  Brigham is the oldest and fastest, Mackay is built to play rugby and David is a mere 5 years old. 

When their mother came out side to break it up Brigham had been 'ejected' from the trampoline cage. He lay huddled on the grass crying from the beat-down he'd just taken.  Mackay was on the far end of the enclosure leaning against the wall so as to be as far away as possible with a look on his face that was pretty analogous to 'wtf? over.'

And then there was David.  all 3'10" of him.  T-shirt pulled crooked, shredded knee jeans, holey socks he'd worn for 3 straight days, one hand defiantly on his hip and the other balled in a fist held menacingly in the air.  "That's what you get for messing with me Brigham!"

Mother mercifully separated them (for the older boys sake anyhow) and then led a sweaty, pissed off little pre-kinder kid by the ear through the living room to the hall way where he would serve out the length of his incarceration in his room.  But much like a defiant felon being drug out of a court room he had to take one last verbal shot.  He stopped and puffed up his chest, raised another fist and yelled plenty loud enough for his brothers outside to hear him, "Next time I won't take it easy on you.  You just think about that!"  He turned in a flourish and slammed his door for an exclamation mark.  It was amazing.

#2--  Last night we had Cub Scouts.  The bishop pulled me from Young Men's to be in scouts due in large part to the fact that my boys make up like 18% of the pack.  It's been a great experience and given us a chance to get to know Paul and Matt better.  We have a campout planned for this weekend so we ran through a few administrative things.  And then we played dodgeball.  Because that's what Mo's do on weekday mutual activities.  It was great fun, leaders v. Cub Scouts.  Brigham kind of just did his thing and occasionally threw a ball.  At the end, during clean up, he seemed to disappear.  I didn't think much of it because they're getting old enough to branch out a bit more.  Michelle couldn't find him and seemed to be getting a bit anxious.  As I was shutting off lights and closing doors I got a phone call from Chelle telling me that she had found Beeg in the car and was going to ride home just the two of them.  When I got home I found out why.

Beeg had been a little wild and knocked a ball out of the hands of a fellow 10 year old, thinking it was a funny trick.  The kid turned to Brigham and said some pretty mean things.  It's life, it happens.  It was one of the first times in Brigham's life that another child had treated him differently or intentionally been mean to him or at least that he had been cognizant of .  And it hurt.  He slunk away, hid in the car and cried until his mother found him. 

She informed me of the situation when I finally made it home.  We got everyone ready for bed and I went to his room to tuck him in.  I coaxed him into telling me the whole story.  It's a hard part of growing up.  I told him about experiences I'd had that were very similar.  I taught him the principle of the water off a ducks back.  I told him he was smart, wicked smart, and some day the control part of his brain would catch up to the impulse/smart part of his brain and he was going to be incredible-amazing.  Just give it time and realize there are going to be people out there that can't understand what you are or what you will be yet.  I compared it to Spider-Man and his superpower.  I started to explain what I meant and he cut me off, "Oh like when his uncle told Peter, 'With great power comes great responsibility.'"  I couldn't have tied the bow any prettier if I'd wanted to. 

We lay there on his bed thinking about his power and all the great things he will do with it someday.  It was the most magical twenty minutes of my life.  We had the most amazing discussion and I'll never forget it.  Ever. 

#3 Today Mackay took his FSA's (Florida Standardized Assessment exams).  He way over stresses for them.  I believe it is similar to Michelle's test anxiety at that age.  He really is very much like his mother in so many ways.  During the math portion they had been working fractions on the computer using pizza pies.  He blew through it all so quickly that he had extra time to fiddle around...a devil's workshop if I've ever seen one.  So he found a way to get the computer to open the Notes app and he typed, "I LOVE pizza!" several hundred times.  When his teacher observed what was going on she about flipped.  Because they are standardized they are also very highly controlled.  Any deviation could be grounds for kicking that child's scores off the spreadsheet.  If there is one thing they didn't want to do, it was to lose Mackay's scores from the classroom average.  You can't blame her.

There were several other little things, nothing bad, just kind of a cumulative bad news event.  So Mackay comes home and tonight just before going to taekwondo to be awarded his third degree blue belt, he pulled his mother aside.  "I think you might get a phone call from Ms. Thompson tonight.  Several boys got in trouble and she wasn't happy when we left."  Michelle shrugged it off.  Though a fortnight of minutes later her phone rang.  And it was Ms. Thompson.

She recounted the story Mackay had already told.  Michelle mentioned that Mackay had warned her and Ms. Thompson replied, "You know, I've already called the other three boy,s parents and you are the first one that knew I was going to call, even though I told all the boys before they went home.  I have to tell you, I think that speaks volumes about who he is as a person."

Indeed it does.  We expect it of him; but man do we ever appreciate it.  He's a dang good kid.


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