To My Son…

Dear Little B,

Don’t be a bully.  Just don’t.  The hours suck and the pay is not all they claim it to be.  It won’t make you famous and it certainly won’t earn you respect.

Don’t be a bully.  Everyone’s onto bullies.  Schools abhor the behavior (despite the fact that their “actions” don’t do much to dissuade the practice) and parents are always wringing their hands over the latest drama that crosses the threshold of their hearts – weeks after the bully has “attacked” because you didn’t want to say anything.

I was bullied, bud.  Quite a bit.  From K through graduation – that’s a long time.  I may not have been assaulted physically, but I’m pretty damaged inside.  Sure, I seem all tough and together for the sake of you and your sister, but I’m a broken mama.

You see, being bullied is so much more than stolen lunch money, wedgies, swirlies, and the occasional black eye that are portrayed on TV and the movies.  It’s slow-acting torment brought on by the muffled giggles as you walk by.  Name-calling (even though we tell you to ignore it, I know it hurts every time) that makes you feel like you’ll never be good enough for anyone (you’re good enough for anyone, by the way).  Soon you’re stripped of self-confidence.  You’re second-guessing everything – from the clothes you wear, to the food you bring for lunch, even being criticized for being TOO good a student (nerdy is good – just look at the handsome fella you call Daddy).  This has followed me through adulthood, and I pray you can get rid of the hurt now.  Leave that baggage behind!

I know it’s hard now – and it was so hard for me all those years, but looking back it truly was a gift from God.  *I* get it.  *I* have felt it.  All of it.  You’re not alone and will never be alone, for I have all the hurt saved within me so I can help you and get you through it all.

You are none of the things you were called.  Those boys are just afraid to get to know the awesome kid I have the privilege of calling “son.”  You’re mine forever and they’re just jealous.  You’re full of love and compassion.  You’re so trusting (sometimes a little TOO trusting, but you’ll learn) and respectful of other people.  You’re a gift from God.

You have what seems to be a very long 6 3/4 years to go until graduation, but we’ll be here with you every step of the way, so don’t let it damage you for too long.  I have enough damage for you and your sister so you can heal.  Just keep coming to me – talk to me!  There are no secrets in this family, remember?  There’s also not much we can’t handle and get past.

I’m sorry you were treated poorly.  You deserve better.  We’ll get through it together.  I love you!


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