Thursday, February 12, 2009
I was in awe of my son yesterday at the playground. We got there around 3, when it's packed with kids. Within seconds, W had 3 kids with him by the swings. Then a new kid comes by and starts bullying a smaller child who looked about 5 y/o. W gets off his swing, pushed the bully off the smaller kid, then gets back on the swing. A few minutes later, the smaller kid is on the swing and the bully is now back shaking the swing telling the kid to get off. The kid didn't move, so the bully kicked him in the head. W went right over, grabbed the bully by the shoulders, threw him back a few feet, and told him to leave the kid alone. W and his friends soon left the swing area exchanging words with the bully for the next 15 minutes. The bully's older brother eventually showed up and they told him what happened. We didn't see the bully again after that. I purposely stayed out of it (and back about 25 feet), but kept a very watchful eye on what was going on. W came over once to me and said, "Mom, it's OK, I can handle it". I trusted he could.
So now W has about 7 boys and 2 girls (all look from 7 to 10 y/o) and they start up a game of cops and robbers. W is robber captain for the first round, and when other kids are the captain, W is picked first to be on the team. That alone got me choked up a bit. The game is so fun to watch. The kids are fair, supportive, and couldn't care less that all 10 of them represent 10 different countries. After a while I see the bully returning. I got a bit nervous but then the kid turned and left again. I see W look at his friends, say something, get nods from them, and then dart after the bully and disappear behind the park building. My first thought was that this was going to be trouble, but then I see W and the bully walking together back to the group of kids. W then says, "Hey guys, we got another player!".
I was like WHAT?!?!! He canNOT be serious!
I found out later that the bully had walked over to apologize, turned around and walked away again. That's when W decided he was OK after all and ran over to invite him to join the game. The game went on beautifully for another hour til it started getting darker and colder out and kids started heading home. I learned a lot from my son that day. He taught me about forgiveness and acceptance and living in the moment, all through the best game of cops and robbers I ever saw.