Unfortunately, Ben had his first real experience with a bully. This kid wouldn’t leave him alone…he called him names, made personal attacks, nagged him to death, etc. I have to admit, I’ve envisioned myself hanging this little twerp by his underwear on the flag pole outside the school. I know, I know, I need to calm down. As a victim of bullying myself, it’s tough not to get heated.
Although I would never want my son to get pushed around, it’s been a great learning experience for all of us. My lovely wife gave him some sound advice and I paraphrase: “sometimes, mean kids just need somebody to be nice to them. Jesus was nice to mean people all the time. Sometimes, that bully could even end up being your friend!” Brilliant. This great advice made for some deep dinner conversation.
A couple of days later, Ben blew my socks off. He proudly called me at work to explain a conversation between himself and the twerp…..I mean kid :). They spoke in the bathroom at school. Ben approached the kid and said something like “I’m sick of us fighting all the time. Can we just be friends?” The kid responded with a quick “yep.” It was a simple exchange with profound results.
At recess, they played ninjas on the playground. In Boy Land, that means that all is right in the world. That some healing and acceptance has taken place.
Due to Ben’s love and grace, the kid has left him alone. Apparently, he’s still causing trouble in other ways, but the direct harassment once focused on Ben is no longer there. Most of the time, love can be the best deterrent against negativity. It’s pretty cool how God designed things.
My son inspires me. I see Jesus in his eyes, in his demeanor, in his hands and in his feet. I’m proud to be his dad.