As my 9 year old Corvan and I drove down the road, small talk at first, but then I told him we were not stopping until he started talking. We drove for another half hour in silence and then he began to speak to me.
He explained to me that there was a little girl on the playground at recess, I asked what she looked like, he said she had red hair, freckles and glasses and gave to me her name. He went on to say that three boys that Corvan thought were his friends, and gave to me their names, went up to this little girl and began to say very ugly things to her. Corvan said it was making her sad. Corvan stood up to the boys and told them to go away and leave her alone and to quit being mean.
That bullying that those boys were doing…..the ones that he ‘thought’ were his friends? Turned that bullying right around on Corvan and from that moment on were nothing but mean to Corvan. They said aweful, terrible things to him and got up into his face. They said words to him that he had never heard before and asked me what that meant, knowing this, that it was bad. It didn’t stop……..
What did Corvan do? He took it upon himself to protect himself. He never told a soul. He hid, he became a busy student in the classroom to avoid the playground, when he did have to go to the playground he spent most of it in the bathroom stall.
So, what does a mother do now? Thank God it was the summer, for I might have headed for the playground myself. I explained to Corvan that his teacher, his dad and I, nobody could help him if he did not tell one of us. That he was too young to take such a thing onto his own shoulders. God gave him to his dad and I to protect but we are unable to do so if he did not tell us what was going on. I also told him what a hero he was for protecting a little girl who could not protect herself and that was a noble trait that he had and he should be so proud of that.
I did speak to his teacher and he was sickened, he said if he would have known, of course he would have taken care of it instantly (in his manly teacher way) I appreciated that.
Jim had a ‘man to man’ talk with Corvan. I had to sit back and painfully watch Jim do his job as a father. He explained to Corvan in words I probably would not have used, in a voice I probably would not have spoken in, and a fierce passion that scared even me. He told him that he needed to tell but also he had his permission at any time to give a swift punch right in the nose to protect himself and he said if warranted he would stick up for him no matter what. A bully cannot get away with this. There was rules at school yes, but there are times when a bully needs to be put in his place by no other than the one that he is bullying. This really did build Corvan up. It gave him a confidence and a tool (his fist~smile) if need be.
I personally knew many of the teachers at school and trusted them with my kids. I let them in on what was going on, they were on the alert, they spoke to Corvan and told him that he could come into their classroom at any time if he felt threatened or uncomfortable about anything. This made ME feel more confident but in the end, it just wasn’t enough for Corvan.
That first week of school, the first day of school, was a week from hell. His emotions were so upside down, his anger, the anxiety, it was off the charts. Nothing had happened but going back into that environment after a whole year of dealing with this and not having the protection of being in his teachers classroom anymore was more than he could bear. I spoke to some long time teachers who I felt had much wisdom to give and they all suggested to get him out of the situation, to do what I have told him I would do and that was to protect him.
I went to another school, it was full, but without telling the principal what was going on she went to bat for me and went and had a personal meeting with the superintendent on Corvan’s behalf and got him in. This was by the grace of our Almighty God. A miracle really.
Today? No more stomach aches, no more headaches, happy to go to school, enjoys playing on the playground, his aunt who did not know we had moved him or that he had gone thru this mentioned to me that Corvan had a joy in him she hadn’t seen in along time.
Is this school perfect, no, but he does feel safer with a new start. I check in with him OFTEN to see how things are going. I did share with his teacher what he went thru after she got to know him several months, and she had tears running down her face and said that she was so sorry and grateful that Corvan seemed happy, he was very well liked in the classroom and she would let me know otherwise.
The thing is……he seemed happy last year. He had great grades, better than ever, he received the citizen of the year award for the year in the 4th grade class! He NEVER complained about anything except a headache and stomach ache often. If he couldn’t verbalize it then it was internally taking a toll on his little body.
I’m grateful we are where we are today. I’m grateful that the Lord had enough protection upon him that Corvan found a way to avoid being hurt further than he was (even though that was too much for him to take on) I’m grateful to the teachers who love him and to give Jim and I sound advice that I was needing and hungry to hear. I’m grateful for a husband who handled it the way he did (even though he would like to have used his fist)
After Corvan told Jim and I his story we have never spoke about it again. He does know why I ‘check in often’. He always says, “Yes, Mom, I know you and dad will protect me and I will tell you if I need protecting”………enough said.